June 2, 2005
Front Page

Search teams continue hunt for missing teen

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

The search for a missing Pagosa Springs man intensified over Memorial Day weekend when local search and rescue personnel joined forces with professional trackers and a canine search team. Despite their efforts, searchers turned up empty handed.

The man, 19-year-old David Kramer, disappeared Sunday, May 22, during a camping party on the lower Blanco River, near the Blanco Campground.

Greg Oertel, director of emergency operations at the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department, said search and rescue teams began looking for Kramer Tuesday, May 24, but found no leads. He said local personnel from Mounted Rescue, Upper San Juan Search and Rescue and the Archuleta County Fire Department teamed up with the Dolores Canine Team and the Rocky Mountain Trackers to intensify the operation over the holiday weekend.

Oertel said search teams combed the area Saturday and Sunday, paying particular attention to log jams, fallen timber in the river (called "sweepers") and the river banks.

With the recent flooding, Oertel said, tremendous amounts of silt had come down the river and areas once visible are now buried by mud and sand.

He said aerial and avalanche-style search techniques were employed during the weekend's search, but high water levels remain a problem and that it could be two weeks before levels drop significantly and a more extensive search can be mounted.

Oertel said Kramer, along with four other friends, two from Durango and two from Pagosa Springs, went camping Saturday, May 22.

After interviewing members of the group, Oertel said one of them remembered seeing Kramer sleeping on the ground above the river late Saturday night.

According to their statements, the campers left the area haphazardly, some leaving earlier than others. They had noticed Kramer missing, but each assumed he had taken an earlier ride back to Durango with someone else.

But there was one detail out of place - Kramer's shoes were found near the spot he had been seen sleeping the night before.

By Monday, no one had seen Kramer and Tuesday the search began.

On Thursday, with the help of the Rocky Mountain Trackers, Oertel was able to outline a possible scenario. The evidence at the scene indicated Kramer might have rolled off the embankment while sleeping then tumbled 30 feet down the hill into the river's torrential current.

"We found the spot he was sleeping, and we found the spot he might have gone over the side," Oertel said.

Oertel said Kramer had not been located and therefore is still deemed missing. He said the investigation will continue and that search teams will pursue all possible leads.

Kramer was last seen wearing black jeans, a black shirt and black leather jacket. He is about six feet tall, thinly built, Caucasian, with short black hair.

Oertel asked anyone who has information concerning Kramer's whereabouts to contact him at (970) 731-4799.


One battle epitomizes American will

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Robert Dobbins realizes a soft wind can become a force to reckon with.

When that breeze became a rushing torrent Monday, he called on the 200-300 people he was addressing come closer.

Whether or not the emcee for the annual Memorial Day program in Hilltop Cemetery knew the words in his guest speaker's text, his invitation was apropos.

As the crowd moved closer, he introduced the keynoter, former Navy Seaman William J. Clark, whose theme was riveted on Americans pulling closer, pulling together for the common cause.

Hilltop Cemetery, he began, has at least 306 American military veterans buried therein (two more were just identified in the past few months and their graves marked last week.)

Archuleta County, he told the crowd now pushing closer, "has given far more than could have been expected to this great land."

He told, as have others, of the rapidly declining number of World War II veterans - "We're losing them at the rate of 1,100 per day ... and as of last week, there were more Korean War veterans still living than those who fought in World War II."

Statistics were a major part of his presentation, only to set the scene for a tale of heroism and Americanism which are emblematic of why there was a Decoration Day, a day which is now Memorial Day.

"Come back with me to a Pacific Island known as Okinawa," the speaker invited. Between April 1 and June 22, 1945, it was one of the most important spots on earth in a brief spurt of momentous events.

Among those he cited were the April 12 death of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and then, on May 8, the suicide of Adolph Hitler and the surrender of the German military force.

"Many people said that the events in Germany were the end of World War II," Clark said. "But sadly, they were not."

Yet to come was that previously mentioned battle for Okinawa, a battle that was to cost both sides dearly and one which would lead, at last, to the end of the war.

Statistics, again, enter the story.

The United States' casualties were enormous, Clark said. Read these figures to understand what he meant.

In that April 1-June 22 battle for the nearest major island to the Japanese mainland, this nation, Clark pointed out, "lost 7,613 military personnel on land, 4,907 more died at sea, 34 were killed in kamikaze attacks on our ships and 763 were slain in flights launched from our aircraft carrier decks. We launched 1,200 vessels in the final attack, and 103,000 American troops were put ashore."

Among the ships participating was the mine sweeper USS Vigilance, a ship on which Clark was later a crew member. It participated for 56 days in the fight for Okinawa with a crew of 105. They found and towed to safety three ships hit by kamikazes, recovered and gave medical attention to 32 wounded sailors at sea and, in one telltale battle, proved the kind of America Japan had attacked, but could not beat.

The Vigilance encountered an American vessel hit by repeated kamikaze attacks. It was afire, with explosions rumbling below decks. The Vigilance's skipper went in full speed, all three of the ships's water lines pumping. Crew members boarded the wounded ship and activated an on-board fire line as 3-inch and 20 mm ammo began to detonate from the heat. Nine wounded crewmen were treated by the Vigilance crew. Then, fire under control, the lieutenant in command ordered tow lines attached and the ship was towed to safe anchorage.

It was an act that earned the Silver Star for heroism for the skipper of the Vigilance.

"It was the type of heroism by all that was common through all American wars," Clark said. "It was an outward exhibit of the kind of fiber that links us, the kind you can't see, that holds this country together."

He told of how he and his wife were honored to have attended last year's dedication of the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., of the 4,000 gold stars in its wall, each representing 100 Americans - the 400,000 who died in World War II for the safety and freedom of those who live on.

"There was a reverent hush in the crowd as the sun set," he said, "and we could see the reflections of those 4,000 stars in the still waters of the pool at the base of the wall.

"I invite you," he told the crowd, "to apply that same reverence after this ceremony is over. Stroll the cemetery, look for the 306 small flags marking veterans' graves. Stop for a moment and if you wish offer a word of prayer.

"Keep in mind," he urged, "we are involved in another battle as Americans, again in a faraway land, as our military personnel, men and women, fight for a continuation of the American spirit."

Opening and closing prayers at the cemetery, and in an earlier brief ceremony at Mullins-Nickerson American Legion Post 108, were by the Rev. Robert Pope, rector of St. Patrick's Episcopal Church in Pagosa Springs. The Star Spangled Banner was sung in each location by Barbara Witkowski; a bagpipe prelude and then accompaniment to "Eternal Father, Strong to Save" was provided by Jim Dorian of Pagosa; a searing, fade to silence presentation of Taps was played by Pagosa Springs High School student Jackson Walsh, who requested the assignment; and, at each site, a 21-gun salute, the traditional military acknowledgment of a job well done, was fired.

In the process, names of Archuleta County residents known to have died in action were read along with place of burial, if known. Then the names of those who have joined the long list in the last year were also recited.

People drifted away, toward family plots, toward friends whom they hadn't seen in years, toward some of those in uniform who represent Americanism, heroism and patriotism at its very best.

For one morning, May 30, 2005, Archuleta County was solidly entwined with the rest of the United States in a common reminder of the insanity of war and the need for people unified worldwide toward the elimination thereof.

County road fleet beefed up; 2-1 vote

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

After learning that two of the county's road graders qualify for antique license plates, Archuleta County commissioners voted in a contentious decision Tuesday to approve funding for new road maintenance equipment.

The measure would allow the county to pursue the purchase of one water truck and one slide-in, V-box sander. These items were previously approved and within the constraints of the 2005 budget.

Added to the measure were provisions to extend funding to add two new road graders to what Public Works Director Dick McKee, described as a badly dilapidated fleet in dire need of upgrade.

"We can't keep enough running at one time to undertake projects," McKee said.

Funding for the four vehicles will come from a lease purchase agreement with Wells Fargo Bank. Original funding plans had slated $121,000 for the purchase of the water truck and sander, but after McKee's presentation commissioners voted two to one in favor of capitalizing on the terms of the low interest rate, five-year loan to purchase the graders.

Commissioners Mamie Lynch and Ronnie Zaday voted in favor with Zaday stating, "Getting operators and equipment on the road is our number-one priority."

Commissioner Robin Schiro disagreed with adding the purchase of new graders to the measure and called it bad spending.

She suggested the county is not utilizing the current fleet of 11 graders efficiently or effectively. She said other options, such as rebuilding or repairing older equipment or hiring a mechanic should be pursued first before more money is spent.

McKee said road graders have a life of about 7,000 work hours, that two in the county's current fleet have logged more than 13,000 work hours and some as much as 20,000 hours .

By comparison, McKee said a new road grader would cost the county $190,000. He said he did not have rebuild estimates available at this time, but guessed it would cost about $140,000 to refurbish a grader from top to bottom.

He said a rebuilt engine and transmission would cost the county about $50,000, but added that, even if those components were new, there are still old electrical, hydraulic and drivetrain systems that would need fixing and updating.

McKee said a rebuild would address all those parts and systems, but electrical systems were particularly problematic and a rebuild would still not address the issue of frame degradation.

"The real problem is that the metal in the frame begins to fatigue over time," he said.

In other business:

- Commissioners voted 2-1 in favor of suspending mag-chloride operations for a period of one year on non-county maintained roads and on metro district roads.

Lynch and Zaday voted in favor of suspending mag-chloride operations, while Schiro dissented.

McKee said some of the roads affected are within gated communities, some are roads that are not part of a public right of way, and some are public right of way roads the county does not maintain.

McKee said he contacted county residents who would be affected by the measure and the response was mixed.

Although some citizens may not support the measure, he said, suspending mag-chloride operations will free money and personnel hours for repair of winter-damaged roadways.

McKee reported equipment and labor costs for 2004 mag-chloride operations on private and metro district roads were $110,869.60.

- The Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners is accepting applications for vacancies on the Archuleta County Planning Commission.

Previous applicants to the Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commission or the Archuleta Planning Commission need to reapply.

 Inside The Sun

Exploratory drilling approved near Price Lakes site

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

After reviewing the final environmental assessment, the Pagosa Ranger District of the U.S. Forest Service has approved exploratory drilling at the Price Federal Site near Chromo, in southeastern Archuleta County.

Jo Bridges, Pagosa District Ranger, said in her letter of decision that, after reviewing the final environmental assessment and considering other related factors, she determined "no significant impact on the human, biological or physical environments" near the drilling area.

The site is in the San Juan National Forest near the Navajo River off of Price Lakes Road (National Forest Road 731) and will involve clearing an area of about one and a half acres and extending an existing vehicle track about 350 feet in order to drill an exploratory, wildcat oil well. V.F. Neuhaus Properties Inc. will undertake the well project.

Glenn Raby of the Forest Service said the area is within a current grazing allotment and has been open to oil and gas leasing since the 1920s.

If the project survives the appeals process mandated by U.S Forest Service regulation, drilling could begin by the third week of July.

According to Raby, wildcat wells are "basically exploratory and purely speculative."

Raby said there has been nearly 100 years of oil exploration in the area near and surrounding the Price Federal site but past exploration has turned up about a 100-percent failure rate.

Nevertheless, Raby said, the area is enticing to drilling companies because of proximity to the Gramps Field, which is just east of, and across the Navajo River, from the Price Federal site. Raby said the Gramps Field has been a proven producer for many years.

During initial scoping efforts and public input opportunities, county residents and citizen groups voiced concerns about the well project.

"By and large they were against it," Raby said. "Their concerns were related to quality of life issues."

According to the environmental assessment, many were concerned with air quality issues, damage to wildlife habitat, road damage, noise pollution and light pollution.

One phase of the project will require about two weeks of 24-hour drilling and related work.

Dennis Schutz, a native of Chromo and a land manager for Banded Peaks Ranch, said people in the Chromo area are generally against the project.

"A lot of people use that area for hunting, camping and fishing. No one wants an oil well in their backyard," Schutz said.

He also voiced concerns about the impact on Chromo in general as well as wildlife migration and said he was particularly worried about the effect of heavy trucks on the area's roads.

Price Lakes Road, above the Price Bridge, will be the principal route used by Neuhaus to access the proposed site and Schutz said this part of the road has been a point of contention with Chromo area residents in the past.

He said area residents have asked both the county and the Forest Service to maintain the road above Price Bridge, but that neither agency will take responsibility. Schutz said each agency says the road is the responsibility of the other and, in the past, residents have resorted to maintaining the road themselves.

Schutz said with neither agency willing to take responsibility, conditions are bad now, but he worries that heavy truck traffic will further degrade a road neither agency is willing to maintain or repair.

Schutz said the Price-Neuhaus project is indicative of the Bush administration's attitude toward energy production and is a local example of the administration's energy policy. "Instead of searching for alternative energy sources, they're out there pulverizing the land," Schutz said.

Schutz advocated spending money on research and development of renewable energy projects, rather than squandering money on wildcat projects like Neuhaus' project that might not pay.

"The bottom line is that the benefit gained would not outweigh the negative impacts on the land," Schutz said.

A Forest Service press release indicates the decision to allow drilling is open to appeal.

The appeals process is specific and appeals must be filed within 45 days of May 26.

For details on that process, the decision notice and the environmental assessment, contact the Pagosa Ranger District at (970) 264-1509. Information regarding the final environmental assessment, the decision and the appeals process can also be found on the web at http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/sanjuan/projects/shtml.

County fair demolition derby scheduled

Aug. 5

The Archuleta County Fair Board has announced the sixth annual demolition derby will be held 7 p.m. Aug. 5.

The derby will be at the fairgrounds on U.S. 84.

Advance sale wrist bands will be made available to derby fans and the price will include admission to the fairgrounds that day.

Local drivers 18 and over can participate in the derby and women drivers are being sought for a Ladies' Powder Puff division.

Prizes will include derby jackets, hats, trophies and prize money with final prizes determined by the number of paid driver entries.

The board will offer a $100 "Beauty Car" sponsored by Brennen Oil of Durango and a "Giveaway Car" donated by Frontier Towing in conjunction with the Powder Puff event.

Rules, regulations and forms should be available now and on the Web site soon at www.archuleta countyfair.com

Anyone inerested in being a sponsor, entering the derby, or who has questions about the event should contact Marti Gallo, 264-3890.

Technical questions should be addressed to Mike Wasinger, chief inspector, at 883-2580.


La Plata County records seventh Pertussis case

San Juan Basin Health Department reported four additional cases of Pertussis (whooping cough) over the Memorial Day weekend.

This brings the total number of recent cases in La Plata County to seven. There have been no confirmed cases in Archuleta County.

Whooping cough, a bacterial infection, has been on the rise over the past several years. Symptoms include repeated episodes of uncontrolled coughing so severe they result in vomiting, difficulty inhaling (which produces a whooping sound) or periods of not being able to breathe at all.

Pertussis is most severe in infants and young children, with a fatality rate of up to 1 percent in infants. The disease lasts 6-10 weeks, and passes person to person through close contact with an infected person. Antibiotics generally don't shorten the course of disease, but decrease the time when that person is contagious.

Infants are immunized for Pertussis at 2, 4, and 6 months of age, with boosters at 18 months and 4-6 years as part of the DTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis) vaccine. After the final booster, immunity gradually decreases, leaving older children and adults susceptible to the disease.

Parents are being encouraged to begin immunizations as soon as a baby reaches 2 months of age, and to keep them on the recommended schedule. Children under seven years old can receive a pertussis vaccine. There is no immunization available for adults.

For more information on pertussis and immunizations, call San Juan Basin Health Department's Durango office at 247-5702.

Sheriff's office forms new firefighting unit

By Bob Grandchamp

Special to The SUN

The Archuleta County Sheriff's Department's firefighting capacity has a new look and new capabilities.

The department has the statutory requirement and duty to assume charge of all fire emergencies, controlling and extinguishing forest and prairie fires in the unincorporated areas of the county and in those areas not included in the Pagosa Fire Protection District. To better perform this duty, the department has restructured and reformed its firefighting capabilities by creating an Archuleta County Fire Department.

The newly-formed county unit is part of the Division of Emergency Operations within the sheriff's department.

To better serve citizens of Archuleta County and increase its firefighting capabilities, the department purchased a new Type 6-attack wildland fire engine and has hired four experienced seasonal firefighters. The new wildland engine and seasonal crew have already begun work on fuels reduction within the county.

One focus of the department is to provide professional wildland fire protection for the citizens of the county. Preventing the devastating effects of a large fire is also a main concern. In order to achieve this, the department has been working cooperatively with Forest Service, NRCS, Colorado State Forest Service, and Office of Community Services to help residents with prevention measures they can take.

Personnel will also do fuels inventory and mapping in order to develop a comprehensive Community Fire Plan that will enable better handling of the threat of wildfire in the county.

The department has assisted the Forest Service with prescribed burns at Devil Creek and Kenney Flats. This gave the new department the opportunity to work closely with resources from Pagosa and Columbine Districts, as well as the San Juan Hotshot crew. Other fuels reduction projects are planned.

The Archuleta County Fire Department is committed to providing the highest standards of wildfire protection. All member firefighters are trained and certified to National Wildfire Coordinating Group standards.

Greg Oertel, a longtime resident and experienced wildland firefighter, is director of the Emergency Operations Division and the new fire unit.

Oertel was born and raised in rural Wisconsin. In 1980 he moved to Durango where he married his wife, Terri, in 1981. They have two children; Jeremiah, who is serving with the United States Marine Corps in Iraq, and Amanda, a student at Pagosa Springs Junior High School. Oertel has a degree in natural resources, majoring in forestry and wildlife management. He also has an associate's degree in fire sciences. He has worked in several forests around the United States.

Greg has served the communities in which he lived as volunteer firefighter, EMT and with search and rescue. His years of experiences range from small local fires to an extended detail as a division supervisor with the Columbia Shuttle Recovery and as incident commander of the 5,200-acre Canyon Creek Fire in Idaho.

Other department personnel include:

David Vega, a native of Pagosa Springs with long family roots in the area. Vega started in the fire service as a junior member of the Pagosa Fire Protection District in 1996. In 1999, he took a job as a seasonal firefighter with the U.S. Forest Service on the Pagosa Ranger District. Three years later, he accepted a position with the Coronado National Forest in southeastern Arizona. With his training and experience, he quickly rose to the rank of engine captain in charge of patrol and prevention. After two years of fighting fire in 100-plus degree heat, he moved back to Pagosa in order to accept a position as firefighter/medic with Los Pinos Fire District.

Tony Rackham, a familiar face around Pagosa, a graduate of Pagosa Springs High School and a long time local resident, teaches science at Pagosa Springs High School. He is also an intermediate EMT who runs an ambulance for Upper San Juan Health Services District. Tony has over a decade of wildland firefighting experience, working for the Forest Service, BLM and interagency crews as both an engine crew member, and AD firefighter. Dispatched regionally and across the United States, Tony has had an opportunity to experience fire in a variety of fuel types and weather conditions.

Michael Vega is David's younger brother. He graduated from Pagosa Springs High School in 2002. He attended wildfire training at the Great Plains Wildfire Academy in Sterling, Colo.

Jeremy Marquez is a native of Pagosa Springs. He grew up listening to stories of fighting wildland fires told by his grandfather, Reuben. Jeremy is currently a student at Fort Lewis College, pursuing a double major in psychology and sociology with a criminology option.


712 hours of community response to danger

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

It began on Saturday night with lower Blanco River residents calling about a flooding river and their homes being threatened.

By Monday, a group of rafters had been dumped into the San Juan River and a mother and daughter were lost below the falls on the Fourmile Trail. By Tuesday, the search was underway for a Pagosa Springs man who had disappeared from a camping party near the lower Blanco River.

By the end of the week Archuleta County emergency personnel, search and rescue teams, local pilots and volunteers had been put to the test and, in the end, it seems they passed with flying colors.

"I am very impressed with the efficiency, and the number of volunteers. They are, and were, a tremendous asset to this community and this county," said Archuleta County Commissioner Mamie Lynch.

Greg Oertel, director of emergency operations at the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department said, as flood and search operations expanded, a command center was set up in the county's emergency operations office at Stevens Field airport.

Oertel and Stevens Field manager Rob Russ commended staff and volunteers for their efforts, and said professional experience and strong leadership had made the difference.

Oertel said numerous local agencies were critical to the success of their operations and the American Red Cross was a huge help.

With the Blanco River flooding and 33 homes threatened, sandbagging efforts became a priority.

Russ said pilots Larry Bartlett and Will Sanders volunteered on Sunday, May 22, to fly over flood-threatened areas to help map, mark and identify those places in the most dire need of sandbagging.

By Tuesday, Russ said, the county ran out of sandbags and Dick McKee, the county's public works director, went to Denver by truck to get more.

By the time McKee had arrived in South Fork, Russ said, he was called back because an aerial operation was underway.

Local pilots Bob Howard, Doug Humble and Jim Carey rallied to the aid of the community and within minutes were on the tarmac and ready to roll.

Russ said the truck-based operation would have taken a full day to complete, but the pilots left Pagosa Springs for Denver, loaded 12,000 sandbags, refueled and returned in three hours and 20 minutes.

"This was an all-volunteer effort and I really commend these guys," Russ said. "This was pretty awesome."

Meanwhile, Tony Rackham of the Archuleta County Fire Department, worked as a spotter on a helicopter as it searched the lower Blanco River for David Kramer who disappeared while camping Sunday, May 22.

Meanwhile, helicopters for New Air operating out of Stevens Field searched the Fourmile Trail area for Cheri Romero, of Pagosa Springs, and her daughter, Lacey, who had become lost Saturday afternoon. By Sunday morning the helicopter had spotted the pair and they were evacuated. The mother was hypothermic but rescuers revived both hikers and neither needed hospitalization.

In the end, Oertel said 33 homes were saved, the mother and daughter were brought to safety and volunteers logged 712 hours.

Oertel said it was the first time the county had been in such a situation, but that everything fell together.

"Overall it was a great success," Oertel said.


Pagosa's Catlin one of top three in CDOT roadeo

Challenging written examinations and equipment operations skills tests highlighted the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) training and educational "Roadeo," May 24 at the Montezuma County Fairgrounds in Cortez.

The Roadeo, designed to help CDOT maintenance professionals hone their winter maintenance knowledge and equipment operation skills, consisted of a written examination covering state and federal rules and regulations; a pre-trip vehicle inspection test; and equipment operation skills tests on demanding obstacle courses.

The top four place finishers in each category were:

Mid-Range Truck Category

1. Rod Catlin, Pagosa Springs; 2. Mike Somsen, Durango; 3. Paul Welch, Rico; 4. Scott Carlstrom, Mancos.

Front-End Loader Category

1. Scott Carlstrom, Mancos; 2. Dan Bishop, Durango; 3. Jim Sortomme, Ignacio; 4. Will Smith, Durango.

Tandem Truck Category

1. Mike Somsen, Durango; 2. Scott Carlstrom, Mancos; 3. Keith Baysinger, Durango; 4. Preston Nusser, Norwood.

"CDOT began using the equipment roadeo concept in the 1980s to help our employees improve their knowledge and skills with our snow and ice removal equipment," explained Greg Roth, CDOT Section 3 Maintenance Superintendent.

"It's a demanding event for our employees because of the advance study required and the difficult nature of the equipment operations tests."

The knowledge and skills required for the equipment roadeo help CDOT maintenance workers better and more safely serve the traveling public along the 9,000 miles of Colorado state and federal highways they maintain.


Three Life Teens scholarship winners named

Three recently graduated Pagosa Springs High School seniors are off to college with $1,000 scholarships awarded by the Life Teens of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish.

Jessica Harms, Rachel Schur and Christopher Nobles received the scholarships in recognition of their participation for four years in Life Teens, their faithfulness to IHM, and their academic excellence.

According to Father Carlos Alvarez, pastor, each scholarship is renewable for four years when the student maintains active involvement in church while at college, engages in service work, and continues academic excellence.

This year Life Teen renewed the scholarships of Jenna Finney and Estreberto Palma who are entering sophomore year.

Life Teens started at IHM parish in September 2000, using a model of religious education for high school students developed by Monsignor Dale Fuchek in Mesa, Arizona. The mission of Life Teens is "to bring teens closer to Christ."


Two hearings set on county's new road map

Tonight and June 15 are key dates for those who want to see what the county has in its plans for roadway maintenance and development.

Two public hearings will give residents chances to look at the proposed County Road Map.

The first, 7 p.m. today at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse, is designed specifically for residents of 25 of the 26 subdivisions which make up Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association.

It is anticipated maps and other data will be on display by 5 p.m. so interested parties can develop the questions they wish to ask when the formal session opens.

The same time frame is expected for the second hearing, for the balance of Archuleta County residents, Wednesday, June 15, in the Extension building at Archuleta County Fairgrounds.

Presentation of the maps will be a first step in determining road and highway needs and possibilities for the county as growth surges in the area.


World Harmony runs into Pagosa Springs

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

With a surging river receding from near flood stage in the background, representatives of several European nations and Australia put Pagosa Springs on their world map Friday.

The visitors, carrying blue flags and assisted by a young girl carrying an ever-burning torch, were making this a stop on an 11,000 mile, 70-nation event called the World Harmony Run.

The runners here are from nations with which America seeks better relations. In their lands American runners are returning the effort.

This run was launched in New York City April 16 with runners from all the other participating nations joining a call for world harmony.

In Pagosa Springs Town Park several of the runners introduced themselves and told a little about the languages they speak - all doing so in perfect English.

They talked of word variations which can cloud a meaning from one land to the next. They discussed scenery, what they had expected and what they are finding.

They said they seem to find a new "best sight" everywhere they go ... with never a hint of what may lie around the bend or over the next hill.

They talked of why they are here, why they want to see harmony spread among the civilizations of the world.

One spoke of America's having to deal with 9/11 and how it was a tragic event not only here but in the rest of the peace-loving world.

Another told of expecting it to be hard to meet and talk with Americans but finding them just like "the people on the streets back home."

Still another indicated freedom of thought and expression from one land to another can break down many of the barriers to world harmony.

The runners were to go on from Pagosa Springs to Durango where similar meetings with the public were scheduled, then weave across northern Arizona, go north across Nevada, swing west through Idaho and Oregon, up to Washington, then start back across America on a northern route that will have the run ending back in New York Aug. 20.

Carl Lewis, nine-time Olympic Gold Medalist and World Harmony Run spokesman, told runners at the event's beginning, "By carrying the torch, you will be bridging cultural and social barriers, and also the boundaries that separate nation from nation.

"The trials on the road to world harmony," he said, "are no greater than the courage of those who accept the challenge."

International highlights of the run this year include a continuous relay through 45 European countries from March though September. Simultaneous events are also taking place in Canada, Latin America, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Australia.

Organizers of the run were the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team - an international running organization that puts on hundreds of athletic events worldwide each year including several world-class ultramarathons, marathons and triathlons.

"One of our goals is to build friendships with community groups who participate in the World Harmony Run and to support their activities for promoting harmony," said Atulya Lee Berube, U.S. coordinator.

The local hosts were a small group but they took away an idea that the world is more closely knit than we might imagine.

An idea that world harmony, on the surface so remote and unthinkable, just might be the solution to a world future free of war, power brokerage and racial discrimination simply because these runners took the time out of their lives to try to make a difference.

A handshake on another's soil, after all, makes you a part of that land.


Planning Commission

The Archuleta County Planning Commission will hold its regular meeting 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 8, in the county commissioners' meeting room in the Archuleta County Courthouse. Public comment is welcome and encouraged.

The agenda includes:

- Call to order/roll call, 7 p.m.

- Review of sketch plan for Wagner Minor Impact Subdivision. This is a request to obtain approval of the sketch plan to subdivide two lots of 7.75 and 7.21 acres, respectively, from a 14.96-acre tract of land, for purposes of possible future resale of one of the lots, and to use the second lot for the construction of the applicant's primary single-family residence, and to legalize a previous subdivided, illegal subdivision.

This property is at 179 Navajo Road (legal description: SW 1/4, NW 1/4 of Section 28, and the SE 1/4, NE 1/4 of Section 29, Township 33N, R5W, N.M.P.M.)

- Conditional use permit review of The Links at Pagosa - a residential development.

This is a request to construct a condominium development containing 33 individual units in a total of three buildings. This equates to 16.5 units per acre.

The project is located at 109 Ace Court, near the intersection of a county road and U.S. 160 (Legal description: Section 16, Township 35 N, Range 2W).

- Review of the planning commission minutes for May 11, 2005.

- Other business that may come before the planning commission.

- Adjournment.


United Way names new director for county

Stacia Kemp has been named by United Way of Southwest Colorado to serve as the Archuleta County community relations coordinator.

Kemp has extensive nonprofit experience working for United Way supported organizations in Kansas and Illinois.

Most recently, she was community relations director for an agency that serves adult and child victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse and child neglect in Kansas.

In addition, she coordinated event planning and marketing communications for nonprofit organizations and for profit businesses. She has held staff, volunteer and board positions with various nonprofit organizations related to social services, education and the arts.

Kemp recently became a full-time resident of Pagosa Springs after living here seasonally since 2001. She holds a degree in journalism, and mass communications/public relations and is originally from the Kansas City area. She and her husband, David, have two grown children.

Tim Walsworth, president and CEO for United Way, said "Stacia is another good addition to our team. She will help United Way and our local volunteers continue our work for people in need in Archuleta County. We are thrilled to have someone of her caliber join our organization."

"Stacia brings a wonderful history of working with human services agencies, which is just the type of experience we can use here in Archuleta County," said Sam Conti, an advisory council member.

As the county's United Way coordinator, Kemp will work with county volunteers to implement the annual fund-raising drive, execute special events, and invest the funds raised each year in the most efficient and effective local nonprofit organizations.

Donations to United Way are invested in programs that offer solutions to issues related to affordable housing, crisis intervention, education, family support, seniors and youth. Approximately one of every five residents in Southwest Colorado has been touched by a program supported by United Way.

In Archuleta County donations support:

- American Red Cross, disaster prevention, preparedness and relief;

- Archuleta County Education Center, link to family resources;

- Archuleta County victim assistance Program, court advocacy program;

- Community Connections, family support program;

- Boy Scouts of America, comprehensive youth development;

- Big Brothers Big Sisters, mentoring program;

- Girl Scouts of Chapparal Council, positive youth development;

- Habitat for Humanity of Archuleta County, affordable home ownership;

- Housing Solutions for the Southwest, weatherization program;

- Pagosa Outreach Connection, emergency assistance program;

- San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging, nutrition program for the elderly, home chore program and transportation program;

- Seeds of learning Family Center, crisis mental health services for the working poor;

- Southwest Youth Corps, conservation program; and

- Volunteers of America, southwest safehouse.

For more information contact Kemp at 264-3230 or e-mail her at skemp@centurytel.net.


Role of arts and culture key in a town's rebirth

By Leanne Goebel

Special to The SUN

"It was an eye opener," Pagosa Springs Town Planner Tamra Allen said of the Culture, Commerce and Community Conference she attended May 20-21 in Denver.

Sponsored by Colorado Council on the Arts, the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs, the Lab at Belmar and Colorado Business Committee for the Arts, the event was billed as a think tank on current research and theory on the role of the arts in economic development and community engagement, and as a practicum, providing useful models for stimulating civic and commercial life through the arts.

"I don't think I'm truly in the dark about culture and the role it plays in community, but this (the 3C Conference) allowed me to see the significant role art and culture plays in bringing together eclectic, community oriented, civic-minded creative people," Allen said. "You get the out-of-the-box ideas and the generation of a new perspective, a new twist on how to do things, from creative people."

Allen attended with the encouragement of Town Manager Mark Garcia. Both felt it was very timely, as Pagosa Springs grapples with the idea of how to maintain the small-town character of our community and tries to define what it is that makes a place unique and livable.

Allen believes the conference provided a theoretical, as well as an applied approach, that isn't typically found at planning conferences. Angela Atkinson, executive director of the Community Vision Council and Crista Munro, executive director of Folk West, also attended the conference.

"I was pleasantly surprised at the blend of practical information, such as case studies, that was presented alongside more academic, philosophical discussions, such as what is the role of public art in our communities," Atkinson said. The public art issue is one the Community Vision Council Social/Cultural Committee is currently researching.

"Public art is very much on the radar screen for many, many communities," Atkinson continued. "We're all seeking to differentiate ourselves and to communicate what is unique and special about the places we live - public art allows us to do that in a way that expresses our character and individuality."

Allen, however, found the idea of the arts and culture as an economic driver to be counter-intuitive and ironic. "Looking at art and culture as an economic driver is the antithesis of why we have art and culture - for visual, tactile enjoyment, for the aesthetic value, for pleasure."

In the end she understood the push for the arts as an economic driver because, as she said, "How do you rationalize spending public money if there isn't a proven return?"

Allen thought some of the best ideas presented at the conference - to get the Pagosa community involved - were cultural heritage programs like the Alamosa Mariachi Conference, the Meeker Classic Sheepdog Trials and the City of Delta's Council Tree Pow Wow. The Colorado Council on the Arts employs a state folklorist for Western Colorado to help communities develop their cultural heritage.

Munro currently provides the most successful cultural tourism event in Pagosa - the Four Corners Folk Festival. Both Allen and Atkinson mentioned the Spanish Fiesta as a way Pagosa Springs can capitalize on its cultural heritage. The Fred Harman Museum and Western Heritage Center is another entity poised to take advantage of the economic benefit of cultural heritage programming.

Another idea proposed to involve the community is cultural tourism. Americans for the Arts reported in 2000 that two-thirds of American adult travelers included a cultural, arts, heritage or historic activity or event in travels of 50 miles or more away from home.

"From a tourism perspective, statistics were presented showing how public art, galleries, unique architecture, even our public spaces, all serve to attract and engage visitors," Atkinson said. "A successful public art program will actually fuel our economy and should work hand in hand simultaneously with other improvements being made to our downtown."

Two concurrent sessions, "Cultural Tourism — Maximizing City Assets" and "The Arts and Tourist Dollars in Rural and Mountain Resorts," ran during the conference. Panelists for the Rural and Mountain Resort session included Liana Carlson, director of marketing and public relations, Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival; Laura Smith, director of communications, Aspen Music Festival and Maurice LaMee, executive/artistic director, Creede Repertory Theatre.

The Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival provides a $7.4 million impact on the Vail Valley and $550,000 in taxes. The Aspen Music Festival pumps $52 million into the Aspen economy.

In Aspen, the cultural traveler stays 60 percent longer and spends 60 percent more than a traveler who does not attend a summer cultural event.

In Creede, the Repertory Theatre provides $2 million in economic impact for Mineral County. Twenty cents of every dollar spent in Mineral County comes through the theatre. Yet none of these highly successful, cultural tourism draws is self-sufficient.

At the Aspen Music Festival, ticket sales cover only 20 percent of the event costs, 30 percent comes from student tuition to the Music Festival School and the bulk of the budget, 50 percent, is donated by the Board of Directors and National Council, some individual donors and a small amount of corporate sponsorship.

The City of Aspen provides less than one percent of the Music Festival's $13 million budget. In Vail, the Bravo! Vail Valley Music festival is funded 25 percent by ticket sales, 50 percent by individual donations and 25 percent by grants, fund-raisers and advertising. In Creede, 55 percent of the budget comes from ticket sales, advertising and gift shop, and 45 percent is donated.

While cultural tourism can provide huge economic benefit, the costs of events like these do not happen overnight and are expensive. In other words, cultural tourism is not a panacea.

"It was interesting to hear people iterate what they are going through, the demographic changes we are seeing, the growth in second home owners," Allen said. "The baseline study EPS just did, matches the information we heard at the conference. We can't stop growth. People are going to move somewhere. There is a need for every community to address how it can be creative and unique, how they can retain their old culture and find a new niche."

Keynote speakers, Richard Florida, author of "The Rise of the Creative Class" and the new book "The Flight of the Creative Class," and Joel Kotkin, author of "The City: A Global History," envision the future of America as a federation of neighborhoods, or an archipelago of villages that are great places to live, work and raise children.

"The social cohesion is unraveling as we speak," Florida said. "It's a new type of class warfare. The battle is between the new people with money and ideas coming into a community where we've always done things the same, where my grandfather and father lived and worked and raised their family."

This comment seemed to resonate with Allen and Atkinson. The challenge facing Pagosa and every other community is this type of change. It is the old versus the new.

Allen felt the biggest difference between Florida and Kotkin was on the issue of tolerance. "I liked what Florida said about our country being founded by immigrants and the flow of ideas they provided. He said that since 9/11 we seem to have collective amnesia that we used to be a tolerant country. As a community, we have to be tolerant of the immigrants, the new people moving here. We can't prevent it. We have to figure out how to tap into their needs and desires to be an integral part of the community. These new residents are affluent, well skilled, knowledgeable. We have to tap into this 'human capital' as a new resource for creating ideas. How do we help Pagosa transition from a one-dimensional place whose sole economic function is tourism? How we go one step further to sustain ourselves?"

Atkinson believes one idea is to create a "percent for art" program where 1 percent of new development cost is required to fund a public art display, an artistic feature inside or outside a building, or be provided in the form of an art donation or financial donation to the community.

"I think that while we're looking at a downtown master plan and design guidelines," she said, "we should also be looking at how public art fits into the big picture of community development."

To that end, Atkinson and the CVC Social/Cultural Committee are organizing a speaker series in August with Mark Childs, planning professor at University of New Mexico, an expert in plazas and public spaces, and Nore Winter, Winter & Company, an expert in design guidelines and application of public art into planning documents.

The speaker series developed during a late night brainstorming session between Allen, Atkinson and Munro over takeout Indian food at their Denver hotel.

Allen is still looking for answers. She likes the idea of tapping into the local culture and arts to improve the tourism aspect of Pagosa. "But we want to also keep Pagosa a great family-oriented place to live."


77 perfect scores pace final high school honor roll

Seventy-seven Pagosa Springs High School students with perfect 4.0 averages paced the final 2004-2005 honor roll released Friday.

Included were 24 seniors, 18 juniors, 18 sophomores and 17 freshmen.

Seniors with perfect marks included Paula Alves, Randi Anderson, Kyrie Beye, Kelli Ford, Brett Garman, Levi Gill, Esther Gordon, Jessica Harms, Janna Henry.

Also, Danae Holloman, Caitlyn Jewell, Melissa Maberry, Manuel Madrid, Meagan Martinez, Kelcie Mastin, Audrey Miller, Jesse Morris, Christine Morrison, Chris Nobles.

Also, Ryan Ranson, Rachel Schur, Brianna Scott, Victoria Stanton and Rachel Watkins.

Juniors with top marks were Heather Andersen, Daniel Aupperle, Christopher Baum, Sara Baum, Jake Cammack, Heather Dahm, Katie Erickson, Kari Faber.

Also, Caitlin Forrest, Elizabeth Kelley, Matthew Nobles, Jakob Reding, Emilie Schur, Craig Schutz, Kailey Smith, Makayla Voorhis and Veronica Zeiler.

Perfect sophomore scores were recorded by Shannon Baker, Dustin Bauer, Kimberly Canty, Kimberly Fulmer, Malinda Fultz, Alaina Garman, Jamilyn Harms.

Also, Casey Hart, Jennifer Haynes, Anna Hershey, Shanti Johnson, Sierra Lee, Jessica Lynch, Elise McDonald, Jesse Miller, Daniel Redden, Laurel Reinhardt and Jenni Webb-Shearston.

Topping the freshmen list with perfect scores were Cody Bahn, Dan Cammack, Natalia Clark, Lonnie Elledge, Matthew Fackler, Patrick Ford, Bradley Iverson.

Also, Kailee Kenyon, MacKenzie Kitson, Allison Laverty, Travis Moore, Keith Pitcher, Hannah Price, Trey Quiller, Sarah Schultz, Rebecca Stephens and Stephanie Zenz.

Others named to the honor roll with no grade lower than B included seniors Landry Ward, Paul Armijo, Shiloh Baker, Kelly Bartholomew, Taryn Burnett.

Also, Caleb Forrest, Shawn Ivie, Timothy Kamolz, Mark Truax, Emily Vega, Lori Walkup, Jesse Bauer, Michael Hardiman, Richard Lafferty, Benjamin Loper.

Also, Darin Prokop, Keagan Smith, Miranda Taylor and Melissa Voelker.

Juniors named in that list include Adrian Begay, Emily Buikema, Sandra Griego, Jim Guyton, Jennifer Hilsabeck, Joshua Hoffman, Ursala Hudson.

Also, Orion Sandoval, Alis Dubner, Casey Schutz, Nikolos Carrizo, Larissa Harwood, Jessica Haydel, Erika Lucero, Efrain Marinelarena, Zach Mayne.

Also, Meghan Montoya, Paul Przybylski, Brandon Reid, Naquita Rivas, Emmalyn Smith, Briggitte Thompson, Allen Abeyta, Derek Davis, Benjamin DeVoti.

Also, Roxanne Lattin, Travis Marshall, Guillermo Molina, Steven Smith and Chelsea Taylor.

Sophomores named with no grade lower than B were Sabra Brown, Adam Carroll, Hannah Clark, David Dunmyre, Iris Frye, Samantha Harris.

Also, Kerry Joe Hilsabeck, Kyle Kamolz, Jennifer Lobato, Emily Martinez, Tiffany Mayne, Jordyn Morelock, Jessie Stewart, Jennifer Tothe, Trevor Trujillo.

Also, Julianna Whipple, Jacob Beavers, Westin Carey, Kathryn Cumbie, Kristen DuCharme, Joseph Gill, Carol Hart, Lacy Hart, Kimberly Judd, Corbin Mellette.

Also, Ellen Niehaus, Trisha Serrano, Grace Smith, Max Smith, Claire Versaw, Alex Vick, Chelsea Cooper, Hayley Goodman, Bree Haynes, John Hoffman.

Also, Mariah Howell, Lauren Loewen, Kyra Matzdorf, Danielle Megli, Keyton Nash-Putman, Porfirio Palma, Josh Pringle and Kelly Sause.

Freshmen listed included Chance Adams, Madeline Bergon, Paul Brinton, Cameron Creel, Shannon DeBoer, Joshua Laydon, Michael Moore, Forrest Rackham.

Also, Camille Rand, Joshua Reding, Isaiah Warren, Landon Bayger, Stephanie Erickson, Misha Garcia, Eric Hurt, Alexie Johnson, Jessica Low, Ashley Portnell.

Also, Wes Walters, Caleb Burggraaf, Stacy Dominguez, Stephanie Earley, Crissy Ferguson, Bruch Hoch, Whitney Jackson, Cole Kraetsch, Stephan Leslie, Christopher Lloyd and Ramonsita Salas.


27 perfect marks lead final honor roll at junior high

With 12 seventh-graders and 15 eighth-graders leading the way, the final junior high school honor roll of the 2004-2005 school year has been released.

The 27 students with perfect 4.0 averages paced the honors list for the final nine-week period released by Principal Chris Hinger.

Seventh-graders with top scores were Julia Adams, Gary August, Ashley Brooks, Megan Bryant, Casey Crow, Jordan Davey, Natalie Erickson, Emily Greer, Amber Lark, Katarina Medici, Josie Snow and Wesley Vandercook.

Eighth-graders similarly honored were Anna Ball, Alex Baum, Kyle Brookens, Dylan Burkesmith, Jacob Faber, Eric Freudenberger, Zane Gholson, Rachel Jensen.

Also, Jennifer Low, Alexa Midgley, Jennifer Mueller, Julia Nell, Sackett Ross, Artur Spirin and Gabrielle Winter.

In addition, 37 seventh-graders and 35 eighth-graders were named to the A-B honor roll, with no grade below a B.

Seventh-graders on the list include Taylor Cunningham, Victoria Espinosa, Kala Matzdorf, Rebekah Riedberger, Sierra Shepard, Denise Bauer, Jessica Blum, Bridgett Brule.

Also, Jordin Frey, Michael Heraty, Paul Hoffman, Amanda Oertel, Sarah Sanna, Nicola Shaw, Riley Aiello, Mary Brinton, Michael Gallegos.

Also, Kara Hollenbeck, Tamra Leavenworth, Haley Malesic, Casey Meekins, Amie Webb-Shearston, Jacob Anderson, Michael Flihan, Samara Hernandez.

Also, Jonathan Hudson, Waylon Lucero, Ashley Taylor, Jessie Bir, Nahtanha Sell, Jessica Martinez, Kelsey Hanavan, Savannah Maez, LeeAnn Phillips-Martin, Gregory Rapp, Anthony Spinelli and Jo Jo Spinelli.

Eighth-graders cited were Blake Bahn, Joe DuCharme, Jacob Haynes, John Jewell, Clark Riedberger, Kade Skoglund, Cherese Caler, Stephanie Lowe.

Also, Raesha Ray, Benjamin Gallegos, Jaclyn Harms, Ashley Iverson, Zel Johnston, Bailee Ruthardt, Brittney Siler, Shelby Stretton, Jackson Walsh.

Also, Bruno Mayne, Kyle Monks, Juniper Willett, Allison Hart, Lily Hester, Jordan Boudreaux, Dylan Caves, Gracie Clark, Ani Gallegos, Casey Griffin, Johnathan Pitts.

Also, Caleb Pringle, Betsy Schur, Leah Silver, Cheyenne Spath, Crhistina Talbott, Kadey Tothe and Bailey Wessels-Halverson.



High waters slow many local anglers

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Even with the weekend's rain, cooler temperatures have brought river flows down, but those flows are still too high for quality stream fishing.

With many streams and rivers still blown out with runoff, anglers might be best advised to stick with area lakes and reservoirs. Williams Creek, below the dam, might be the exception to the rule.

At that location, anglers nymphing the deep pocket water behind boulders and working the foam line between faster current and eddies did fairly well with black, bead head Wooly Buggers size 10 and 12, and black, bead head stonefly patterns also size 10 and 12.

One fisherman out of Roswell, N.M. landed a 20-inch trout on a size 12, black, egg sucking leech pattern.

The word on the river was to fish deep with anything black with a bead head.

Local fishing guide Mark "Pops" Miller, said area lakes are still the way to go.

He said Echo Lake, Williams Lake and the Pagosa Lakes area lakes are fishing great, and anglers with boats should do well.

Area lakes: Olive Damselfly nymphs size 12 and 14 have been effective during the last week. On windless mornings and evenings, tan or grey parachute caddis patterns sizes 14 and 16 effectively imitate the naturals on the water. Also size 20 and 22 parachute Adams have been effective imitating this "midge" hatch.

In order to fish the Pagosa Lakes area lakes such as Pagosa, Hatcher, Village and Forest, a special license is required. The license can be purchased at the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center.


Ladies in Wading set summer dates

The following is the schedule for Ladies in Wading Pagosa Flyfishers for the Summer of 2005:

- June 7 and 18, July 12 and 23, Aug. 2 and 20, Sept. 13 and 24.

The group will be fishing on all of the dates mentioned with the destinations to be announced.

Contacts are Jody at 749-4470 and Jackie at 731-2042.

High Country Reflections

Hope for an injured Evening Grosbeak

By Chuck McGuire

SUN Columnist

I sat down at my desk one early Sunday morning, just as a light spring shower had tapered off outside. It was mid-May, and through the office window of our new home, I watched languidly as runoff dripped steadily from the eaves. The sky beyond was mostly gray and rather ominous, but a splash of blue in the distant west hinted at eventual clearing.

Suddenly, a vague image materialized, and as a loud "thud" shook me from my spell, I quickly realized a bird had just slammed into the glass. Jumping to my feet, I looked out to the ground and there he was, a brightly-colored Evening Grosbeak lying on his side in the sodden soil beneath the drip line of the rafters. He was alive, his legs kicked feverishly, but as the incessant dripping pelted him mercilessly, I could see his condition was serious.

I shouted to Jackie, then ran outside to render what aid I could, but as I gently picked the injured bird from the rain-soaked mire, it occurred to me I was completely unqualified and ill-equipped to cope with such an emergency. I knew that much handling would seriously stress the little fellow, and in fact, could ultimately cause his demise. But I also knew that if he would survive at all, I had to at least pull him clear of the deluge spilling from the roof.

As an outfitter for many years, I've had enough first aid and CPR training in human crises to know that, given a safe and secure accident scene, an immediate assessment of the injured is the next step. Of course, evaluating a victim's condition typically requires some basic awareness of his or her physical anatomy and natural bodily functions, but when knowledge is lacking and precious few other resources are readily available, a little common sense can sometimes see us through.

In this case, the patient's eyes were open, all vital signs seemed stable, and he could freely move his head and tail, while occasionally flapping his wings. These were all good indications suggesting the absence of spinal injury, but at one point he appeared to vomit. So, while holding him in hand, I carefully placed an index finger in the clutch of his feet to see if he could perch. Unfortunately, he could not. Instead, whenever he tried standing erect, he fell forward or backward, then off to one side or another.

Without knowing whether any internal injuries were involved, I figured that, at a minimum, he must have sustained some sort of head injury, perhaps a concussion. And, from the looks of things, it was probably more toward the serious, rather than mild, side.

With thick Gamble's Oak and low-lying shrubbery covering most of the front yard and a vacant lot to the west, I looked around for a safe spot to place him upright, hoping that, in time, he might recover on his own. But again, as I set him on the ground among the low branches of a serviceberry bush, he immediately fell to one side while struggling to gain posture. Another attempt proved equally unsuccessful, and then I thought of Bob.

Bob is the unofficial name we've dubbed a neighborhood cat with a bobbed-off tail. He's an affectionate little guy who has effectively adopted us and our neighbors to the east. However, we and the neighbors already have indoor cats (not openly friendly toward Bob), so Bob is restricted to living outside until we can find him a suitable home. With Bob freely roaming the area, the ground was certainly no place to leave an injured bird.

At this point Jackie arrived with a makeshift birdcage in the form of a small cardboard box, and agreed to watch over the battered bird while I tried calling Mike Reid of the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW). Knowing that all matters involving the handling of wildlife must be reported to the DOW, I believed Officer Reid would either take control of the situation personally, or refer me to other professionals charged with managing such circumstances. All I had to do was reach him, which, on weekends, can be challenging.

I began by calling the DOW office in Durango. Their recording, which plays anytime outside regular business hours, Monday through Friday, directs off-time callers with wildlife emergencies to the Colorado State Patrol dispatch in Montrose. There, the dispatcher takes down relevant information, pages the appropriate DOW officer, and instructs him to contact the concerned party(s) as soon as possible. Naturally, it can take awhile, depending on where officers are, and what they're involved in at the time.

When an hour had passed without hearing from Officer Reid, Jackie called the Audubon Society chapter in Durango. They referred her to the Durango Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, who advised her to call Ricci Dawson, a songbird rehabilitator. Ricci suggested we leave the bird in a covered box for awhile, propping it up with a rolled wash cloth and placing it in a dark room to reduce stress. In time, she thought, the bird would regain its senses, and be ready to fly.

But after another two hours, with the grosbeak showing few signs of recovery, I called Dr. Kitzel Farrah's emergency number at the San Juan Veterinary Hospital in Pagosa Springs. She agreed to meet us there, and within minutes, had weighed and examined the bird, before giving him a steroid injection to reduce swelling around the brain. She gave us a second dose to be administered six hours later, then showed us how to feed and water him every few hours. Of course, as helpful as Dr. Farrah was-she didn't even charge for her services - she also cautioned us about being too optimistic.

We took the little yellow, black, and white seed-eater home again, and followed Dr. Farrah's instructions throughout the afternoon and nighttime hours. By late morning the next day, our winged convalescent could actually perch on my finger and actively tried flying from my hand. So, I took him outside and placed him on a well-concealed oak branch to further recover. Within minutes though, he jumped from his roost and flew high into a nearby Ponderosa, where he remained for several hours.

Later that afternoon, as gusty winds picked up and dark clouds formed high overhead, I wondered if I hadn't released him a bit too soon. But when I looked to the tree for another check on his status, he was nowhere in sight.

At this writing, the little bird's true fate remains unknown. Although, the next Saturday morning, as Jackie and I sat in the nook sharing breakfast, an Evening Grosbeak surprisingly appeared on a branch just outside. Certainly, I'd like to think it was our same feathery friend, but of course, we'll never know.

Road shock

Dear Editor:

Jolyn and I were in Pagosa Springs for several days last week to visit old friends and acquaintances.

Pagosa gets more beautiful every time I see it, and I miss the awesome beauty of the mountains so very much.

Some of you may not know what happened to us. We moved back to Texas to be close to family and the precious little grandkids — life is too short to miss out on family. We are in the process of buying a fifth-wheel to use as our "Colorado Condo."

We plan to summer in Pagosa, where it is cool, and winter in Texas, where it is warm.

I know this past winter was hard on the roads, but I was totally shocked to see the condition of Sweetwater and Twin Creek Circle, our old "home roads." I also understand, on the basis of unfounded hearsay, that the county may not snowplow non-county roads next winter.

I am wondering what happened to our "Road Warrior" county commissioner? Guess the Road Warrior campaign slogan was just another ploy for votes — pick the sore spot with voters, use the leverage, get elected, and then forget the campaign promises. When will gullible voters stop believing politicians?

Guess I'll have to remember to pull the fifth-wheel only on county accepted roads next summer, or buy one equipped with an industrial duty suspension!

Roy Boutwell

 Durango's gain

Dear Editor:

Pagosa Springs is about to lose one of the finest doctors to be found anywhere.

John Piccaro is an incredible doctor who has cared for his patients with his skills and his heart. He has genuinely been involved in each of his patient's health and lives.

John, like many doctors, serves his patients in what seems many times to be a thankless job. This service has occurred at the expense of time spent with his lovely wife, Michelle, and their wonderful children. To Michelle and the children, Nicholas, Annika, and Gabriella — we want to thank you for sharing him with us.

Dr. John, we want you to know you are loved and appreciated. We have been blessed by you and we wish you God's richest blessings of love, joy, and peace, as you move to Durango.

Our loss is certainly Durango's gain. We shall miss you.

Larry and Cindy McCormick


Community News

Cast is set for Boosters' 'Oklahoma!'

By John Graves

Special to The PREVIEW

A joyous celebration of frontier life sweeps across the Western plains, driven by an immortal score filled with unforgettable songs.

This describes the Pagosa Springs Music Boosters' upcoming production of "Oklahoma!," to be presented July 1, 2, 7, 8 and 9 in the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium.

Set in the Oklahoma Territory in the early 1900s, this classic musical is an idealized vision of a simpler time, a story of tender romance and violent passion. Durangoan Bob Thom plays Curly, a sunny, good-natured ranch hand. Bob's real-life wife, Michelle Martinez Thom, portrays Laurey Williams, the farmer's daughter Curly loves. Jon Bernard is the menacing Jud, who tries to come between them.

The rest of this outstanding cast is as follows: Sally Yates (Aunt Eller), Jesse Morris (Will Parker), Michael Spitler (Ali Hakim), Veronica Zeiler (Ado Annie Carnes), Harvey Schwartz (Andrew Carnes), Amber Farnham (Gertie Cummings), Jarrell Tyson (Cord Elam), Travis Reid (Ike Skidmore), Darran Garcia (Slim), Honor Nash-Putnam (Mike), Don Ford (Tom), Kyle Peterzen (Fred), Katie Erickson (Vivian), Anna Hershey (Kate), Christine Morrison (Ellen) and Randi Andersen (Virginia).

The exuberant chorus of singers and dancers consists of: Betty Schwicker, Karen Carpenter Keifer, Cristina Woodall, Kathy Isberg, Jon Nash-Putnam, Becca Stephens, Kimberly Judd, Melissa Maberry, Clara Barber, Amber Ricker, Breanna Voorhis, Johanna Laverty, Sierra Geter, Sierra Hewett, Hannah Hemenger, Sam Martinez, Max Martinez, and Stephanie Zenz.

Famously, the show opens with "Oh What a Beautiful Mornin'" and contains a cornucopia of wonderful songs such as "The Surrey with The Fringe on Top," "People Will Say We're in Love," "Many a New Day," "I Cain't Say No" and the final rousing chorus of "Oklahoma!" It's a musical treat for all the family.

Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. Reserved seat tickets may be purchased at the Plaid Pony in Pagosa Springs. They are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors over 60 and $6 for students and children. For tickets or more information, call Michael DeWinter at 731-5262.


Free children's concert features local band, WildFlower

By Carla Roberts

Special to The PREVIEW

WildFlower will play their lively hoedowns and sing some great songs for the free children's concert, 11 a.m. June 18, at the American Roots Music Festival at Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse.

Representing a new generation of dedicated Pagosa musicians, WildFlower is carrying the torch of traditional music, based on old-time music and bluegrass.

The group is made up of sisters Johannah, Benellen and Allison Laverty who grew up on a historic ranch in Pagosa Springs.

Their father, Kurt, who performed bluegrass for many years, introduced the three sisters to music. The family traveled to many music festivals and the girls were inspired to play instruments.

This constant musical exposure and encouragement has blossomed into a desire to perform their music for others and encourage other young people to take up traditional music.

"If we could get more kids our age involved in bluegrass it would be a very cool thing because it is not only something to do, but something you can keep doing and get better at, it's a fun thing to do. There is definitely opportunity out there for the future of bluegrass," said Allison.

The youngest WildFlower member, Johannah Laverty, 8 years old, is active in the local theater scene. Her 16-year-old sister Benellen, also an aspiring actress, plays guitar and mandolin. Allison, 14, is a mandolin and fiddle player with a sophisticated and distinctive style.

Other artists involved in the children's programs are festival promoters, Paul and Carla Roberts.

American Roots Music Festival begins with free children's programs in the morning, including a toddler's class at 9, a children's workshop at 10 and a children's concert at 11. All workshop participants will have an opportunity to perform a group dance and song at the children's concert.

This is a wonderful opportunity to expose youngsters to our unique American Heritage of music and dance.

Afternoon and evening activities include a full schedule of workshops and performances for the entire family. Admission to the afternoon and evening events is $8 for adults, children under 18 are $5, under 13 — free; family tickets are $10.

Call 731-3117 for further information.


Remembering the Melody: John Graves

By Erin K. Quirk

Staff writer

Pianist John Graves lives in the past - back in a time where gentlemen wore white suit jackets to supper, called women "ladies" and lit cigarettes for them while a man on piano played a Cole Porter tune.

Graves says he lives in a time "before melody died."

If you've been to a local event around Pagosa Springs and heard jazz standards or show tunes played on a piano, Graves was probably behind it. At his next show, he will improvise a piece of music based on a momentary look at a piece of local artwork presented to him. The Art to Music project is scheduled June 18 in the artist salon at Shy Rabbit Showroom and Ceramic Studio.

After spending the past 63 years playing piano professionally, Graves is not at all intimidated by playing on the spot. He can play some 3,000 songs from his request book but says that "young people," whom he defines as those under 50, won't know many of them.

Graves is also an accomplished television executive, who spent 35 years working in the industry. During that time, he had a second, equally gratifying career playing with and for Hollywood stars.

"I always played two or three nights a week," said Graves who has played parties for people like Judy Garland, Jimmy Durante and Groucho Marx. "I liked that I had two careers and two separate circles of friends."

Graves is 77 now. His piano sits in the front room near photographs and notes hanging on the wall, signed by Katharine Hepburn and philosopher Bertrand Russell. He loves music of the '20s, '30s and '40s, mostly because they had strong and easily recognizable melodies. Graves said music today is more about lyrics, the singer, a few production loops and drums, and less about the music itself. He laments that.

"Melody is a work of art," said Graves who wrote many of his own songs in the 1960s. "It used to be that someone wrote a song and someone wrote words, but the melody stood alone."

For that reason, when he settles into his piano and plays, the listener feels transported to a time when the world was slightly more refined - where women in piano bars wore pearls and heels and men stood to engage them with witty repartee. One can imagine Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr finally making it to the Empire State Building together and hearing Graves at work in the background.

Blessed with the gift of playing by ear, Graves wrote his first song at age six. His first teacher encouraged his ear but he admits his technique and reading got a little sloppy. His second teacher cared dearly about technique and reading so, Graves said, he got the best of both worlds.

"Playing by ear is a gift," he said. "If you have that gift, why, it's terrible not to develop it."

By age 14 Graves, who grew up in California's Central Valley, was playing professionally. As all the men of draft age were fighting World War II, there was a dearth of players for the dances in Tulare County, so Graves always had a stage.

After graduating from college, Graves decided to move to Hollywood to start a career in broadcasting. Radio was his first love, but by the time he'd graduated, television had taken over. He couldn't land a job in broadcasting, so he started at the bottom, as a page at NBC.

Six months later he was choosing background music for Matinee Theatre daily dramas, then spent eight years as an NBC program policy editor - a censor of sorts.

He finally worked his way up to Manager of Film Programs where he supervised shows like "Bonanza," "I Dream of Jeannie," "The Man from Uncle" and "The Monkees." His career continued to climb, eventually making him director of programming and took him to Australia and Europe for other film projects.

"I just loved the TV," Graves said. "I liked all aspects and I was always focused on 'what would be a fun next step.'"

But, throughout his television career, Graves continued to play piano for private parties and shows. He played at a party for John Wayne and said the cowboy legend was just like the John Wayne in the movies. Playing at high-level television executives' homes, people were often surprised to see him at the piano working at the party as "help."

"In one role I had a lot of authority, as a player I was help," he said with a laugh.

But Graves said the entertainment industry is a young person's game and he eventually went back to school to seek a master's degree in mass communications. From there he was offered a teaching position at Central Missouri State University. He began a professorship that lasted 10 "rewarding" years, at which time he became a crusader for group learning.

Graves doesn't believe in lectures. Instead, he had students working in groups studying concepts to learn the principles he was teaching about mass communication. Wandering around the room he could hear "real knowledge" pouring from his students.

"The learning that took place, was so incredibly different," he said.

Though his music took a back seat at that time, he developed one of his philosophies on life and music there - If it isn't fun, don't do it.

"Don't do something sensible because your parents want you to do it. Do what you love. Just say yes," he said, adding he was always saddened by some very talented student who was majoring in and hating accounting because that's what they were "supposed" to do.

Graves said music has never been a driving obsession for him like it is for some artists. To him, it was always fun and that is why he continues to play today. A recent project he worked on called Boom, Bust and Battle aired for 29 weeks on KWUF and featured the music of the Roaring '20s, the Great Depression and World War II.

Though Graves admits he is living the past and generally "has great disdain" for the music of the last 50 years, he is far from curmudgeonly. He loves Big Bad Voodoo Daddy - a contemporary swing band - and local band The Hot Biscuits. To him, those bands are "interesting musically," which is something he misses in this era of musical superstars and their unmelodic, repetitive pop.

"How many artists these days can just play music with no lyrics and have it mean anything," he said. "It used to be the band was the star."

As a professor emeritus in mass communications, the Internet and how it has changed the world's ability to communicate also fascinates him. He groans a bit at the current state of television programming but says "Law and Order" is outstanding television and NPR and PBS are still doing very good work despite, he said, "The Republicans trying to destroy them."

Graves' Art to Music performance will be 5-9 p.m. June 18 at Shy Rabbit Showroom and Ceramic Studio. After Graves views each piece he will improvise a piece of music for it and discuss it briefly afterward. The event will be recorded and plans are underway for an online interactive presentation of the show.

For more information about Art to Music, contact the gallery at 731-2766

County fair schedule announced

By Jim Super

Special to The PREVIEW

The theme this year for the Archuleta County Fair is Celebrate our Western Heritage.

In keeping with that spirit, the fair board is arduously working on the details like cowpokes herding cattle during a thunderstorm.

A lot of work goes on behind the scenes at the fair with preparation and scheduling of events and the lining up of food vendors and entertainment. The elected members of the fair board are in voluntary positions, but do their jobs with great pride.

This year we brainstormed through countless meetings for events that would make the fair stand out unlike any other year. Listed here are some of the main daily events from our new schedule, with some ancillary information. Mark your calendars now, the fair is something that you do not want to miss this year.

Thursday, Aug. 6, festivities begin with the opening ceremony - Old West Fest. The Four Corners Draft Horse and Mule Carriage Association will lead the opening, followed by the 4-H kids proudly displaying their banners as they march into the arena.

The Old West Fest will begin with real Wild West performers, warming up the crowd with their talents. Then a local favorite, The Hot Strings, offer music that is a feast to the ears. Bob Huff will also be on hand to read some of his cowboy poetry in a salute to our western heritage. Our talent will perform two shows on opening night.

A big crowd is anticipated at the opening event and preferred seating will be sold in advance at $10, and is limited to 100 seats. A ticket in preferred seating also makes the holder eligible for a grand raffle drawing. Prizes will be given for local attractions and with a monetary value far exceeding the price of tickets. Sorry folks, no new cars; we don't have Oprah's budget!

General admission tickets will make holders eligible in a separate door prize drawing. The raffle will be held during breaks in the festivities. You must attend to win. Tickets will be available beginning July 1 at the Chamber of Commerce or the Extension office. You can pay with cash or by check. Checks are to be made payable to Archuleta County Fair.

The fun continues opening night with live shows, entertainment, food and the Buckin' H Semi-Pro Rodeo. It all adds up to a night of good old-fashioned western fun. Don't forget to wear your best western attire. KWUF will broadcast live 3-6 p.m. at the fairgrounds to warm up the crowd .

Friday, Aug. 5 - Rides, food and live entertainment, including a stunt show, are on tap. A free petting zoo is available for kids of all ages, featuring horses. In addition, annual favorites, The Colgate Country Showdown and the Demolition Derby are planned.

Saturday, Aug. 6 - Draft horse and mule carriage competition in the rodeo arena and a chuck wagon dinner and livestock auction are all on the agenda. The fair dance featuring Tim Sullivan and Narrow Gauge is a huge draw every year, closing out a full day of excitement.

Sunday, Aug. 7 - A pancake breakfast prepared by the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, a Kid's Rodeo, a comedy hypnotist act, trick ropers and stunt men will help close the fair.

The fair board thanks you in advance for your support of the fair.

Our mission is to create an atmosphere of fun for every age group to enjoy. It is a time when community comes together with our visitors in fellowship in a beautiful mountain arena.

For information on tickets or questions regarding the opening ceremonies, call Danna Laverty at 946-0402. For online information, visit the Web site at www.archuletacountyfair.com


PowerHouse tenth auction set June 18

By Roger Betts

Special to The PREVIEW

Support Pagosa's youth by joining the fun at the 10th annual PowerHouse Youth Center auction and dinner June 18.

This year the event will be in the PowerHouse building rather than in tents in Town Park.

A barbecue dinner starts at 5 p.m. and the auction at 6:30. A silent auction will be held for smaller items during the dinner and the early part of the main auction.

Barbecue tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door, or are available ahead of time at local churches, Ponderosa Do-It-Best Hardware and Agape Gifts.

Among the early auction items are weekend getaways (rafting, motels, dinners, etc.), Rockies tickets, Creede theater tickets, a smoker, chain saws, power tools, artwork and many more items donated by local merchants.

New or like-new items are still being accepted for the auction. If you have items that could be included, call 731-5202 or 264-0354, preferably by June 11.

PowerHouse volunteers will pick up the items and provide the donor a receipt so the donation will be tax deductible.

The dinner and auction provide funds, not for salaries, but for operation, maintenance, utilities, insurance and equipment for the PowerHouse building.

Proceeds enable PowerHouse to offer a center open to the youth of the community, providing a clean, adult-supervised facility in which to play games, have fun and meet friends.

PowerHouse is an interdenominational Christian ministry offering a safe, neutral and positive moral environment for students in sixth through twelfth grades.

Each meeting time includes recreational activities, games, skits, singing and a Bible-based challenge that encourages teens to stand up for godly moral standards.

For more information call directors Bill or Barbara Fair at 731-5202.

Roots Music Fest set June 18

The American Roots Music Festival is coming to Pagosa Springs June 18 at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse.

This is a full-day, old-timey music and bluegrass festival with free children's programs in the morning, workshops featuring American folk instruments, an open mike jam session and an evening concert.

Featured performers for the festival include Pagosa's resident five-string banjo maestro, Randall Davis; fiddling Carl Seeger; WildFlower, an old-timey band with Allison, Benellen and Johannah Laverty; String Theory, a bluegrass band with Lincoln Frye, Brian Smith, Dan Fitzpatrick, Charles Brannon and Ron Sutcliffe; the High Mountain Cloggers; and multi-instrumentalists Paul and Carla Roberts.

Here is the schedule.

Free children's programs:

- 9 a.m. - toddlers' class. You're never too young to have fun. Singing, dancing and playing instruments for the 0 to 3 set (and their parents).

- 10 a.m. - children's workshop.

- 11 a.m. - children's concert.

Afternoon programs: $8 adults; under 18, $5; under 13, free; families, $10.

- 2 p.m. - workshops

- 4 p.m. - open mike folk music performances. Call 731-3117 to sign up.

- 6:30 p.m. - Banjo Extravaganza.

- 8 p.m. - evening concert featuring old-timey American and bluegrass music.

American Roots Music Festival continues July 24, with early blues and jazz, and Aug. 28, with international music and dance.

Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse is in the Vista subdivision, in the PLPOA administration complex. Take U.S. 160 to Vista Boulevard. Go north on Vista, then left on Port Avenue.

American Roots Music Festival is produced by Elation Center for the Arts, a nonprofit organization whose mission is the preservation of folk music and dance.To inquire about participating, and for further information, call 731-3117.


IMH readies its June 4 Spring Fiesta

By Pamela Bomkamp

Special to The PREVIEW

Come out and enjoy the Spring Fiesta, where there will be something for everyone.

Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish will hold a huge tent sale, silent auction, games for kids and provide a fantastic food court to benefit the Immaculate Heart of Mary Building Fund. Bring along your family, friends and neighbors 9 a.m.-6 p.m. June 4 to the church's West Campus, 407 South Pagosa Blvd., for a fun-filled day.

If you are interested in the garage sale, items have been donated from parishioners and local businesses. The silent auction will provide unique and one-of-a-kind items like a beautiful maple butcher block table, an entertainment center, lodging at Hart's Rocky Mountain Retreat, lodging at Fairfield condos, a donkey cart planter, birdhouses, quilt wall hangings and much more.

For the kids, there will be games galore: a cane toss, bean bag toss, cork gun shoot, water balloon toss, three-legged races and a dunk tank.

Kids six and under can play games for free. There will even be a pie eating contest open to those ages five and up. Who knows, maybe you need to get a bit of pie on your shirt too?

Finally, eat a great meal for a good cause at the food court. There will definitely be something there to tantalize your tastebuds. Knights of Columbus will be serve up barbecue, hamburgers, bratwurst, hot dogs and the famous "Knights French Fries." Guadalapana Society will serve up posole, and red and green chile. Last but not least, the Altar Society will serve up things for your sweet tooth, along with coffee and donuts for you earlybirds.

Remember: No one will be admitted until 9 a.m.

Come out for the bargains, have some fun and enjoy the day.


County 4-H members get close-ups with new microscope

By Pamela Bomkamp

Special to The PREVIEW

Wings, scales, hair, legs and just some really neat body parts.

These were some of the things seen by Archuleta County 4-H Entomology project members May 20 with a new stereo binocular microscope.

Members viewed moths, butterflies, snow fleas, ticks and even an animal flea donated by the San Juan Veterinary Hospital. The comments made by several young members included "Awesome!" and "This is so cool!"

Charlie King, the entomology project leader, has had a desire for several years for 4-H members to have the use of a microscope.

With the help of Community United Methodist Church, this wish was fulfilled just a few weeks ago. The church provides Supper Fellowship grants to local organizations through funding from their annual holiday wreath sale. The new microscope will be available for use in 4-H projects such as entomology, veterinary science, sportsfishing, livestock and others.

Archuleta County 4-H has been in existence over 52 years. This year there are 160 youth enrolled in projects; their ages range from 5 to 18.

For more information, contact the Extension office at 264-5931.

UU program based on 'Dance of


This Sunday, June 5, John Graves will present a program to the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship based on a sermon by the Reverend Christine Robinson, entitled "The Dance of Forgiveness."

This metaphor is used to illustrate the pitfalls and perils of living in the past, along with the benefits and techniques of learning to forgive - not only others, but ourselves as well.

Robinson's treatise points out that all the world's spiritual traditions speak out against living in the past. Buddhists call it needless suffering; Christianity calls it a sin; and Judaism calls it missing the mark. Graves will incorporate brief musical interludes to accentuate the dance metaphor.

Rev. Robinson has been the minister of the First Unitarian Church of Albuquerque for 17 years and, through her writings and preaching, is considered one of the leading spokespersons in the Unitarian Universalist denomination.

The service begins at 10:30 a.m. in the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall, Unit 15, Greenbrier Plaza. Turn East on Greenbrier Drive off North Pagosa by the fire station, then left into the parking lot and look for the big sign.

All are welcome.


Women's Club meeting features Delores Butler

The Pagosa Springs Women's Club will meet noon June 8 at JJ's Restaurant.

Delores Butler from Studio 160 Day Spa will be the guest speaker.

Healthy habits for hair, skin and positive lifestyle will be the theme.

A demonstration will consist of practical, simple makeup and techniques, and hairstyles with your own hair and wigs.

Women are welcome and joining the club is encouraged.

For reservations for lunch, call Evelyn at 731-3588.

Local Chatter

Tracing Smokey Bear through the later years

By Kate Terry

PREVIEW Columnist

Last week I wrote about Smokey Bear and his feature part in the Fiddlin' Foresters show tonight, 7 p.m. at the high school

You don't want to miss this dynamite show.

Smokey Bear is the "living symbol" for fire prevention. His story is this:

In 1950, 17,000 acres burned near Capitan, N.M. The fire came to be known as the Capitan Gap Fire. A firefighter from Fort Bliss, Texas found a tiny, singed bear cub clinging to a charred tree. Forest Ranger Ray Bell took it to a veterinarian and then to his home where his wife nursed it back to health. They named it Hotshot Teddy. When pictures of their daughter, Judy, holding the cub made the national newspapers, the cub won hearts.

The cub was sent to the national Zoo in Washington D.C. and renamed "Smokey," therefore becoming the "living symbol" for fire prevention. Smokey the Bear was already the poster symbol for fire prevention.

From early 1902, fire prevention had been talked about. During the years 1936-1941, a total of 210,000 forest fires burned over 30 million acres of forest and range land.

Shortly after Pearl Harbor, a Japanese submarine surfaced off the coast of Southern California and fired shells near the Los Padres National Forest. The USDA Forest Service got busy and organized a fire prevention program. War posters carried fire prevention messages such as "Careless Matches aid the Axis" and "Our Carelessness, their Secret Weapon." In 1944, the Wartime Advertising Council decided to use an animal to carry the fire prevention message. Walt Disney agreed to lend the image of Bambie, for a year, to be the first to carry the message.

In 1944, a bear was chosen to be the spokesman for fire prevention. It was named "Smokey" after a well-known assistant fire chief, Smokey Joe Martin.

The first Smokey Bear artist, Albert Staehle, was his creator. The slogan was "Care will prevent 9 out of 10 forest fires." A few years later, another artist, Rudy Wendolin, took over and stayed with Smokey until he retired in 1973. In 1947, Smokey's message was "Remember, only you can prevent forest fires."

And then came May 9, 1950, and the beginning of the Capitan Gap forest fire.

It was started when sparks from a cook stove began drifting. Winds fanned the flames. Then, again, human error (it was thought) started another fire on May 8 and 19 firefighters were forced to escape to a rockslide area while the fire burned on. Then, fortunately, they were rescued without any fatalities.

Smokey Bear died Nov. 9, 1974, and was sent to a special place built just for him - the Smokey Bear Historic Park in Capitan, N.M. It was near Capitan Mountain where the tiny bear was discovered; the park was completed in 1979.

The year 2000 began a new chapter in the history of Smokey Bear. The Village of Capitan celebrated the 50th birthday of the "Living Symbol Smokey" and continued to tell the story of one of America's most famous animals.

In 2004, over 7,000 people from all over the United States celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Smokey Bear fire prevention program.

Smokey's message is to "Prevent Unwanted Human Caused Forest Fires." His message is vital. With so many people building homes in wooded areas , it is important that people take care

Fun on the run ...

At the UPS cargo phone center where Joe worked, a woman called and said, "I need a baseball quote."

Joe immediately answered with Yogi Berra's famous, "It ain't over 'til it's over!"

There was a brief moment of silence before the woman asked, "What was that?"

"You asked me for a baseball quote," Joe responded, "and that was the first thing that came into my head."

"Oh," she replied. "My husband told me to call and get a baseball quote."

Joe asked if she wanted to ship something, and she said she did. Then it dawned on him: "Do you mean you want a ballpark figure?"

Community Center News

Not even a power failure can halt arts and crafts

By Mercy E. Korsgren

PREVIEW Columnist

The Spring Arts and Crafts Show was a great success despite a two-hour power interruption Saturday. It will definitely be an annual event.

Thank you to all the artists and crafters who worked hard to be part of this event. Many thanks to the community who came out and supported this project. Of course, thanks to all the volunteers: Helen Huff, Marlene Jorgensen, Kathee Ferris, Pat Maree, Marvin Sacks, Gail Reiley, Trish, Charlie Levingston, Becky Herman and John Porco - without their help it would have been impossible to have such a successful event.

See you all next year at a bigger and better show.

Harmony run

The Town of Pagosa Springs would like to thank the World Harmony Run for stopping here and sharing their stories. Mary Jo Coulehan from the Chamber, I and others welcomed the runners in Town Park.

Runners came from different countries like El Salvador, Austria, Australia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Germany and, of course, the United States. The run is a global torch relay seeking to promote international friendship and to point the way to real oneness in the world. This year an international team of six to 12 runners is carrying a flaming torch, symbolizing the aspirations of human oneness, through more than 70 countries around the world.

Mary Jo, I and the others who were at the park made new friends.

Computer lab news

Some setup issues are preventing our older computers from connecting with the others in our network. Fixing that problem is at the top of Becky's to-do list this week.

Other important tasks are ordering more memory and more copies of Microsoft Office and XP in order to upgrade each PC to its full potential. Of course, some older machines can't be upgraded and eventually, when more recent computers are donated to the center, we will weed them out of the lab altogether.

Do any of you remember that kids' book, "Stone Soup"? In it, a wonderful soup is made from stones, a carrot or two, just a bit of meat and so on. Lately, Becky has felt our computer lab is something of a stone soup where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

Remember to recycle your printer cartridges. Many can be sent back to the original manufacturer. Check this column the next week or two for information about where to dump your old computer equipment in Colorado.

Because of highly toxic metals, some computer component materials are very bad for the environment when disposed of in landfills. Becky is collecting some tips on how to do the least amount of damage when you do discard old computers.

Becky would like to thank Bill Korsgren who has offered to oversee the Tuesday classes June 7 when she won't be available.

Upcoming event

The second annual Patriotic Sing-A-Long Night ... drum roll please ... Jerry Arrington has agreed to be our emcee during this event. I haven't actually met Jerry but a couple of friends recommended him and said he's a marvelous guy and he'll do a great job. Jerry used to lead a choir at one of the local churches, so he may also lead our guests in singing. After all, it is a sing-along night. Thanks, Jerry for your interest and willingness to be part of this important and fun evening.

In addition to the Mountain Harmony Ladies' Barbershop Choir, which will participate and entertain us at this event, I also talked to Susie Long about a quartet. Susie is a member of the Pagosa Community Choir and I saw the recent show "Kaleidoscope" which featured Susie and Bill Norton in a duet. They were awesome and very entertaining. Susie will confirm in a couple days if she can get three others to perform with her and entertain the community during our event.

Mary Jo at the Chamber has agreed to give away and distribute small flags for all the attendees.

Mark your calendar for 7-9 p.m. Thursday, June 30, and please bring your favorite dessert to share with everyone. Bring the whole family and your guests to this delightful evening. Show your support and wear something with red, white and blue.

This event is a prelude to the Fourth of July celebration. Let's make this another successful event celebrating our freedom and honoring our veterans and all the men and women on active military duty. Watch for more information next week.

Activities this week

Today - Building Blocks 4 Health, 4:30-5:30 p.m.; Anglican Church Fellowship, 6-8 p.m.; Mannatech Training, 7-9 p.m.

Friday, June 3 - Twins Club play time, 9:30-11:30 a.m.; watercolor painting class, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. seniors walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.

Saturday, June 4 - Waldorf parenting study group, 10 a.m.-noon; birthday party for Amber Baker, 1:30-7:30 p.m.

Sunday, June 5 - Church of Christ Sunday service, 9 a.m.-noon; Grace Evangelical Free Church service, 9 a.m.-noon; United Pentecostal Church service, 4-6 p.m.

Monday, June 6 - Seniors walking program, 11:15-11:45 a.m.; Seniors bridge, 12:30-4 p.m.

Tuesday, June 7 - Seniors computer class, 10:30 a.m.-noon; seniors walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Computer Q&A w/ Becky, 1-4 p.m.; Arts Council board meeting, 5-7 p.m.; Democratic Party meeting, 7-8 p.m.

Wednesday, June 8 - Eagles Loft POA annual meeting, 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; painting workshop, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; Wednesday Bridge Club, 10 a.m.- 3 p.m.; Photo Club meeting, 5:30-7 p.m.; Church of Christ Bible study, 7-8 p.m.

Thursday, June 9 - Painting workshop, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; Building Blocks 4 Health, 4:30-5:30 p.m.; Anglican Church Fellowship, 6-8 p.m.; girls softball meeting, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

The gym is open 8 a.m.-noon Monday through Friday for walking and open basketball, except when reserved for special events. Call 264-4152 for information and to reserve a room. The center needs your input on programs and activities you would like to see happening here. If you have ideas, tell us about them.

The center is a nonprofit organization under the umbrella of the Pagosa Springs Public Facilities Coalition (PSPFC) and managed by the Town of Pagosa Springs. It provides spaces for the Archuleta County Seniors Program, Pagosa Springs Arts Council, Teen Center and other groups and organizations in the community. Rooms are available for rent to anyone or any group on first come first served basis. There is a nominal charge to rent a room and monies collected pay for the utility bills and other operating costs.

Have your party or meeting here. We have very affordable rooms for small, midsize and large group. A catering kitchen is also available. Tables, chairs, a portable stage, a dance floor and audio visual equipment are available too. The center is at 451 Hot Springs Blvd. Call 264-4152.

Lost and Found. Please check at the front desk if you're missing something that might have been left here. We'll hold lost and found items for a month, and then all unclaimed items will be donated to the local thrift stores. Call 264-4152.


Senior News
Summer of excitement ahead at The Den

By Musetta Wollenweber

SUN Columnistt

Do we ever have a summer full of excitement for you!

We have hot air balloon rides coming up, wildflower hikes, informative presentations, rafting our great river and so much more. What a great opportunity to meet other folks of your generation.

On May 25 our transportation service made a quick run after lunch to Treasure Falls. You just never know what the day will bring around here.

Ice cream social, sing along

Ice cream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream - Friday, June 3 at 1 p.m., Jeni says she wants two scoops.

For just 50 cents you can enjoy a bowl of ice cream here at The Den. The kitchen staff will provide a few toppings or bring along one of your favorites and share with others. After you've licked your bowl clean join John Graves in a fun sing along.


Do you miss your grandkids? Come enjoy the energy of the children from the Seeds of Learning when they entertain us, 11:45 a.m. Tuesday, June 7.

River rafting

That same day, The Den will head out for a bit of adventure we are going boating on the scenic San Juan River through Pagosa. This will be approximately a one-hour rafting trip with life jacket, transportation and guide included.

If you have always wanted to try whitewater rafting, this is a perfect beginner trip. Thursday, June 2 is the last day for sign-up and Canyon REO has given you a screaming wet deal ... just $25. This is just our short excursion to get you ready for the half-day trip through beautiful Mesa Canyon (also the San Juan River) offered by Wilderness Journeys July 2. We'll have more info for you on that trip soon. Pick up the phone and call Jeni right now at 264-2167 to reserve your seat for June 7.

Health district data

We'll host a presentation 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 8, by Pam Hopkins and Jerry Valade of the Upper San Juan Health Services District. This presentation will address the recent history of the Dr. Mary Fisher Clinic and current plans for reopening. Their plans are to provide health services for Pagosa Springs - for both the present and future. Join us for lunch and then stick around for this informative presentation.

Durango outing

Thursday, June 9, brings the next trip to Durango. John (your chauffeur) will depart The Den around 8 a.m. pick everyone up and then off you go to Durango. If you have an appointment in Durango that day; why not leave the driving to us and hop on board. We'll return to Pagosa around 4 p.m. The suggested donation for folks 60-plus is $10. Call Jeni at 264-2167 for reservations.

Council on Aging

Friday, June 10, brings the next local Council on Aging board meeting. I personally would like to see more folks from the community participate and contribute their input on what the needs are of our senior (age 60 -plus) community. See you at 1 p.m. in The Den.

Open house

The Den is such a fun place to be, we invite you to come and join us June 14 at our open house, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

We'll have loads of information for you on all the different programs we have available. We currently offer the home chore program, home delivered meals, transportation services, information and referral services, Medicare counseling and so much more.

But, that's not all we do here. So many have said they aren't old and don't want to be associated with the senior center. I say "phooey." Age is a number; you are as young as you feel and we feel young at The Den. We enjoy a variety of programs, indoor and outdoor activities and great meals together and if you haven't already, I hope that you will decide to become part of this extended family. It is sometimes difficult to take that first step of coming in to visit us, but we're here to welcome you and introduce you to the rest of the family.

Just today I watched George waltzing with my assistant, Jeni, and he even threw in the Golightly Gallup. Be here June 14 and find out just what the Golightly Gallup is.

Card games

We've added pinochle to our list of activities and did a wee bit of rearranging of the schedule.

Canasta has moved to Tuesdays at 1 p.m., pinochle will be played Wednesdays at 1 p.m., while bridge remains on Mondays at 1 p.m. Should we play poker too?

Activities at a glance

Friday, June 3 - Qi Gong 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; veterans' services, noon; Ice cream social and sing along with John Graves 1 p.m.

Monday, June 6 - Medicare counseling 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; gym walk 11:15 a.m.; Bridge for Fun, all levels welcome, 1 p.m.

Tuesday, June 7 - Yoga in Motion, 9:30 a.m.; basic computer instruction, 10:30 a.m.; gym walk 11:15 a.m; Seeds of Learning preschoolers sing for us, 11:45 a.m.; canasta, 1 p.m.; river rafting 1 p.m.

Wednesday, June 8 - Pinochle, 1 p.m.; Upper San Juan Health Services District presentation, 1 p.m.

Thursday, June 9 - Durango trip 8 a.m.

Friday, June 10 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; gym walk 11:15 a.m; blood pressure checkups, 11 a.m.-noon; Council on Aging board meeting, 1 p.m.


Suggested donation $2.50 for ages 60-plus, all others $4.50.

Salad bar, every day - 11:30 a.m.

Friday, June 3 - Sole almandine, steamed carrots, onion roll, orange wedges, chocolate pudding, and salad bar.

Monday, June 6 - Beef and cabbage, bliss potatoes, biscuit and fruited Jell-O.

Tuesday, June 7 - Chicken salad, green beans, and strawberry sundae.

Wednesday, June 8 - Meatloaf, boiled potatoes, veggies, wheat bread and peaches.

Friday, June 10 - Swedish meatballs, rice, wheat roll and apricots.

Veteran's Corner

Court's tinnitus ruling could hike benefits

By Andy Fautheree

PREVIEW Columnist

I came across information recently that could affect many veterans with "tinnitus" hearing related, VA rated, service-connected compensation disabilities. If you think this information may pertain to you, stop by my office to obtain an application for possible additional compensation.

On April 5, the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims handed down its decision in Smith v. Nicholson. The DAV had argued on behalf of Mr. Smith that he was entitled to two separate 10-percent disability ratings for service-connected tinnitus, i.e., ringing, in his right and left ears.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) argued in Smith's case, as well as a large number of other cases, that the schedule for rating disabilities provided for only one 10-percent rating, regardless of whether the tinnitus is present in only one ear or both ears.

10 percent each ear?

The court said: "Based on the plain language of the regulations, the Court holds that the pre-1999 and pre-June 13, 2003 versions of 6260 (diagnostic code) required the assignment of dual ratings for bilateral tinnitus." Veterans who filed a claim for service connection tinnitus in both ears, or who claimed an increased rating for that condition, prior to June 13, 2003, may be entitled to receive combined disability compensation based on two, ten-percent ratings for tinnitus. Additionally, the law does not permit any such ratings to be reduced in the future, unless the severity of the tinnitus is shown to have actually improved.

Valuable asset

I would like to congratulate and welcome Carmen Miller as the newly elected commander of the Mullins-Nickerson American Legion Post 108 in Pagosa Springs.

I'm not sure if Carmen is the first woman to hold this office at our local American Legion. Carmen has long held the office of treasurer. I have worked with her closely over the past years as the Post and I collaborated to obtain grants from the Colorado Veterans Trust Fund (VTF) to purchase new vehicles for our veterans to use for VA health care appointments.

I know she will be a valuable asset to the American Legion and a hard worker for our local veterans.


Don't forget to call or stop by my office with your VA health care appointments for the Share-A-Ride program. Help a fellow veteran who may be going in the same direction to the same VA facility. Give me a call if you can provide transportation or need transportation. I will keep a calendar of who is going where to coordinate this important program.

Durango VA Clinic

The Durango VA Outpatient Clinic is at 400 S. Camino Del Rio, Suite G, Durango, CO 81301 (next to Big 5 Sports). Phone number is 247-2214. Albuquerque VAMC phone number is (800)465-8262.

Further information

For information on these and other veterans' benefits please call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office on the lower floor of the county courthouse. The office number is 264-8375, fax 264-8376, e-mail is afautheree@archuletacounty.org. The office is open 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, Friday by appointment. Bring your DD Form 214 (discharge) for registration with the county, an your application for VA programs for filing in the VSO office.


Library News

Use less water as you learn to xeriscape

By Peggy Bergon

PREVIEW Columnist

With area rivers and streams running at higher levels than they have for years, one of the most thrilling sights in town is the San Juan River.

Being a "river walker" since the day the path was built, I visit the San Juan daily and have been enjoying watching other folks respond to the sheer magnitude and power the abundance of water produces.

Navajo Lake appears to be full and I understand Lake Powell is rising rapidly as well. With so much water this year, it is easy to let the thought of drought slip from the mind.

How could there possibly be a question of not enough water?

As the regional population continues to grow, the competition for this precious commodity also grows, elevating the need for thoughtful water conservation.

The average family of five uses approximately 217,234 gallons of potable water per year. Roughly 50 percent of this water is used outdoors to maintain lawns.

Xeriscaping is a holistic approach to landscaping for the purpose of achieving water conservation. Good xeric design can result in a rich tapestry of colors, textures and plant materials that are adaptable to any style of landscaping.

Xeriscaping is a process that is founded upon seven fundamental principals. They are:

- Develop a comprehensive landscape plan. Before investing a great deal of time and money, it is a good idea to start with a landscape plan. This will go a long way toward ensuring that your project is successful.

- Condition your soil. Improving your soil is one of the best investments you can make toward a successful landscape.

- Limit lawn size or use an alternative. Grassy areas have their place in xeric design - the trick is to provide only enough lawn space to meet the needed function. There are several turf grass alternatives that are as attractive as Kentucky bluegrass and are far less thirsty.

- Apply irrigation water efficiently. Morning or night watering will minimize moisture loss through evaporation. Water deeply and thoroughly and eliminate runoff.

- Use appropriate plants and group according to water needs. A good planning strategy is key to a successful xeriscape. Plants should always be grouped together based on their horticultural needs.

- Apply mulches to reduce evaporation. Proper application of mulches can help conserve water by reducing soil exposure to drying winds and sun.

- Maintain good horticultural practices. There is no such thing as a "maintenance free" landscape, but the use of native plants and low-growing alternative turf grasses will help lessen the maintenance load.

Knowing how important this topic is, we brought the library's entire collection of books on Xeriscaping to our temporary mini-library.

Please come in and see what we have to offer as you plan your outdoor paradise.

Arts Line

Three-person exhibit opens today in gallery

By Kayla Douglass

PREVIEW Columnist

A new exhibit at the gallery in Town Park begins today with works of three local artists featured in a month-long show.

Exhibitors are Jeanine Malaney, Adrienne Haskamp and Randall Davis.

Malaney turned a hobby of creating art into her fifth career, following teaching, engineering and engineering management, wife and mother, and community service as an elected public official and on several boards of directors. She is a member of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council and the Durango Arts Center .

About her technique - painting with fabric - she says, "This technique allows me to paint a picture with fabric. I cut fabric pieces and compose a collage by gluing and rearranging pieces on a background fabric, my 'canvas.'"

After adding shading and detail features with fabric paint, she said, "I secure the image with clear or smoke monofil thread. After squaring up, I add fabric borders for matting and layer with backing and batting. With a quilting process I can then increase texture and highlight features creating a three-dimensional effect.

"I produce my own continuous binding to match or compliment borders. Each unique piece is titled, signed, and framed," she said.

Her art is about the fact the spirit of the American West is bound up in the land wide open spaces, big skies, purple mountains majesty and plenty of sunshine.

"Horses running with the wind or wildlife symbolize our freedom to enjoy the vastness of the western landscape and our national forests and national parks. Indian and cowboy lore fan the fire of our infatuation with the West. These are the themes I explore in my work."

Randall Davis is a Pagosa artist whose talents are many and varied. He was born in Burbank, Calif., but by age 14 was spending summers in Pagosa Springs working on the family ranch, which he now owns and manages. Davis graduated from University of Southern California with a bachelor's degree in psychology and later received a DDS degree and opened a dental practice in Pagosa.

He became civically and culturally active almost from the first day. He has impacted the community by serving on the Dr. Mary Fisher Board, the Upper San Juan Hospital District Board, the school board and currently is vice president of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council.

Randall teaches a drawing class at the community center. He studied drawing with Sid Mountain, Ted Goershner, David Leffel and Vic Payne.

Multi-talented is the best way to describe Davis. He works in watercolor, oil, sculpts in bronze and plays a mean banjo in the Blue Grass Cadillac band. He will exhibit several of his oil paintings as well as bronze sculpture.

Adrienne Haskamp is a professional metal artist whose art encompasses jewelry crafted from precious metals, to larger-than-life sculptures in iron and other materials.

She has a bachelor's degree in outdoor education and another in music, with an emphasis in music education. Both degrees are from Humboldt State University in California. Adrienne and her husband, Dale, are avid telemark skiers, mountain bikers, kayakers and hikers, to name just several of their outdoor pursuits.

Adrienne will display and sell some of her jewelry in the June exhibit. As well, 25 percent of her sales will be donated to Colorado Wild.

Photo workshop

Bruce Andersen will lead a photography workshop and field trip June 10-11 with a focus on making better photos of spring wildflowers and landscapes. Bruce will present a slide show 7-9 p.m. June 10 and talk about capturing your subject in the best possible light, creative composition, simple equipment for close-ups and other field techniques. This session will be held at Shy Rabbit Studio, 333 Bastille Drive. Refreshments will be served.

Early the following morning, the group will depart for the field trip portion of the workshop. The exact location will be determined just prior to the trip and will be close to Pagosa Springs. The structured part of the field trip will end around 10 a.m., but participants can linger and photograph as long as they like.

Shutterbugs of all experience levels and with either film or digital cameras are encouraged to attend. Cost for the workshop and field trip is $50. A 10-percent discount is offered to Arts Council, photo club and Arts Network group members. Contact Bruce at baphoto@centurytel.net or call 731-4645 to register or obtain more information. Space is limited to ensure quality instruction.

Watercolor workshop

Watercolorists should reserve June 8-10 for the next workshop by Denny Rose and Ginnie Bartlett as they follow their successful series of watercolor workshops, Basics I and Basics II, with Intermediate I. This workshop will build on the knowledge gained in the two previous levels with emphasis on painting from your own photographs and putting people in your paintings in the correct proportion and scale

There will informative handouts at the lectures followed by hands-on painting every day incorporating ideas presented in them.

If you have been painting for some time but have not taken the basic courses, and think you could benefit from this class, call Denny (731-6113) or Ginnie (731-2489) to discuss your enrollment.

Classes will be 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at the community center. A supply list will be furnished when you register but will probably consist in what has been used in the previous workshops. Cost will be $130 for non-PSAC members and $123.50 for members.

Contact the Pagosa Springs Arts Council at 264-5020 to register, or drop by during regular gallery hours.

Classes with Betty Slade

Due to the popularity of Slade's oil and watercolor workshops, she will continue teaching one day a month for interested oil painters and watercolorists. The oil class is 9 a.m.-3 p.m. the first Thursday of each month at Betty's Blanco Dove Retreat. All levels from beginner to advanced are welcome. The intermediate watercolor class will be 9 a.m.-3 p.m. the first Friday of the month at the community center. Cost is $35 for the day. Bring your own supplies and lunch. It's best to make a reservation by calling PSAC at 264-5020, but drop-ins are always welcome.

Watercolor Club

The PSAC Watercolor Club was formed in the winter of 2003. Since that time Pagosa watercolorists meet 10 a.m. on the third Wednesday of each month in the arts and craft space in the community center. The rooms are available for the day and each participant contributes $5 for the use of the space. The venue for the day varies with watercolorists getting together to draw and paint. Sometimes there is a demonstration of technique from a professional watercolorist or framer. Sometimes a few people bring still lifes, photos or just projects they want to complete. Bring your lunch and your watercolor supplies for a fun day. The next meeting is June 15.

Drawing with Davis

Don't forget to mark your calendar for Saturday, June 18, for drawing with Randall Davis. The session begins at 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. in the community center. In the summer months, weather permitting, the class meets at the center, then goes outside for the drawing lesson. The subject this month will be perspective and composition in relation to outdoor scenery such as trees, ponds and other elements of nature.

If you have never attended one of Randall's classes, it's a treat to see what you can produce in a day under his guidance. All you need to bring is a large sketchpad, a few drawing pencils - preferably a mid-range No. 2 or No. 3 and No. 6 in a bold lead and in a hard lead - a ruler, eraser and an attitude to enjoy the day. Bring your own sack lunch and appropriate outdoor items, such as hat, sunscreen, water and a folding chair. It's best to make a reservation through PSAC, 264-5020. Space allowing, walk-ins are always welcome.

Seeking local artists

The Pine River Library in Bayfield welcomes artists of all ages to display their artwork. Painting, drawing, photography, fabric art, wall quilt, weaving, tapestry, jewelry, beadwork, sculpture, pottery, ceramics, woodwork, glass art, stained glass, metal art, and silversmith are welcome. If you wish to display your artwork, call Chrissy Moiseve at 884-2222. She will be happy to fax you an art display request form and discuss any other requirements or questions you may have. Artwork is displayed for two months. Thus, artwork to be displayed the months of July and August must be received no later than June 30. Artwork may be available for sale, and while the library staff is not involved in the sale of artwork, they will refer queries about a purchase to the artist. There is no fee charged to artists. This project encourages the artistic and cultural interest of the community by providing a showcase for local artists

PSAC Calendar

All PSAC classes and workshops are held in the arts and craft space in the community center, unless otherwise noted.

All exhibits are shown in the PSAC Gallery in Town Park, unless otherwise noted.

June 2-29 - Jeanine Malaney, Adrienne Haskamp, and Randall Davis exhibit.

June 2 - Oil painting, all levels with Betty Slade, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; $35 at Betty's Blanco Dove Retreat.

June 3 - Intermediate watercolor, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; $35.

June 8-10 - Intermediate watercolor workshop, Ginnie and Denny, 9 a.m.- 3:30 p.m.; $123.50 for members, $130 others.

June 10-11- Spring Flowers Photo Workshop field trip - Friday 7-9 p.m. and Saturday morning; $50.

June 15 - Watercolor club, 10-3, community center.

June 18 - Drawing with Randall Davis, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; $35.

June 23 - PSAC annual meeting.

June 30-July 1 - Wendy Saunders photography exhibit.

July 24 - PSAC Home and Garden Tour.

Aug. 4-31 - Juried art exhibit.

Aug. 29-Sept. 1 - Joye Moon Plein Air watercolor workshop, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

September - Celebrities Cook for the Arts and art auction.

October - Artist Studio Tour.

November - 2005 Gallery Tour.

December - 2005 Exploring a Festival of Trees in conjunction with the community center.

Artsline is a communication vehicle of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council, courtesy of the Pagosa SUN. For inclusion in Artsline, send information to PSAC e-mail (psac@centurytel.net). We would love to hear from you regarding suggestions for Arts line. Events in surrounding areas will be included when deemed of interest to our readers.

Food for Thought

Mojito mirage - anything to beat the heat

By Karl Isberg

PREVIEW Columnist

I'm toddling across a wide, green field - a green of the highest chroma, acidic, worthy of the most inept landscape painter.

My Aunt Gladys is with me. So is my Boston Terrier, Butch. He's abnormally large for the breed and the rascal is leaping all over the place, toting a ragged, drool-saturated towel in his mouth. Gosh, he's frisky.

There's a problem here: My Aunt Gladys died in 1982. Butch departed the earthly pale in 1958.

Ever been so hot your brain melts?

Obviously, I have.

And right now, it is not merely hot - it's HOT.

When things get HOT you can't reckon directions, can't do the simplest math, can't tie your shoes.

You can't find your shoes!

After a while, you hallucinate,

That's HOT.

And Hot is at the center of a decrepit stadium in Pueblo, Colorado. I am here to cover the state high school track and field championships.

Ever asked yourself: What on earth am I doing?

I have.

It has to be 120 degrees on the floor of this dump. The football field - this green field - is not grass. It is anti-grass, hard bare ground sheathed in black plastic on top of which is placed a mat of little green plastic frizzy fronds. To complete Satan's football field, teeny black, rubberized pellets are spread across the whole mess. Postmodern dirt.

When the sun shines, and shines hard, the stadium becomes the world's largest microwave oven.

Right now, the sun is shining hard ... and this hunk o' pork is toasting at ground zero.

This is a distinctly uncomfortable environment for me. I come from people who believed being outdoors was dangerous; my idea of a hike is to traverse the casino at the MGM Grand lugging a double White Russian just in case I get lost and need to spend the night huddled behind a row of slots. To me, the ultimate wilderness experience takes place between my vehicle and the front door of the grocery store. Occasionally I get lucky and see a bird.

But here I am, in this stadium, slathered in SP45 sunscreen, sporting my Niebaum-Coppola baseball hat (my favorite team in the Napa League). I am wearing my gaudy Hawaiian shirt, usually reserved for Luau Night at the Tropicana.

Nothing helps. I do not adapt. My core temperature is rising to Chernobyl levels; meltdown is imminent.

It's HOT.

I attempt to concentrate on the events - kids zipping around in a shimmering atmosphere, jumping, dashing, doing all manner of athletic things.

I can't relate.

First, because running and jumping are alien to me. Always have been. As a lad, the only sports I played involved crashing into someone or something, never having to traverse much of a distance to enjoy a collision. I still like to crash into things. I will not, however, move more than five yards to do so.

Second, because my brain is in the aforementioned molten state. I am disoriented (more than usual), staggering around in ever-smaller circles, conversing with dead relatives, petting dogs I owned 50 years ago.

This is HOT.

And it is the second day I have endured this nonsense.

The day before, I went through a similar drill (same dog, different dead relative), lucky in the late afternoon to find my car in the parking lot. The air inside the car was the temperature of the core of the sun and it didn't cool appreciably as I got lost on the streets of Pueblo trying to find the highway back to the motel. My motel was a light year distant from the stadium since every room in town was reserved six months before the track meet by parents convinced little Becky or little Bobby was going to climb atop the awards stand.

Eventually I found my lodgings, collapsed on the rumpsprung bed and gazed blankly at the chalk outline of a human figure drawn on the soiled rug.

I needed rest. I didn't get any, since I shared the establishment with four high school track teams. The kids had apparently not suffered the same stress during the day as I; the tykes seemed ready to have a good time.

In the hallway, directly outside my room, for hours — boys with their pathetic, cracking voices reminiscent of young bull moose sure their time has come; girls emitting high-pitched, unearthly sounds as they slammed their room doors. Over and over and over again.

I made a note before I passed out: "Invent noiseless motel room door millions to be made statues will be erected in your honor."


Hah! I am in Pueblo, Colorado. There's the Golden Feed Bag Cafeteria, the Endless Pickle Barrel Family Eatery, Big Bob's Finny Fiesta - Your Hometown Catfish Emporium, a plethora of fast food joints, not much else.

So, I drive to a nearby supermarket and buy two nine-month-old Gala apples and a "Hey, look at my muscles" protein bar. I return to my room, eat the uninspiring crud to the accompaniment of slamming doors, drink enough water to float the Graf Spee and lose consciousness.

So, now, it's the last day of the meet.

I climb the 750 stairs from the field to the press box above the upper concourse of the stadium. I'm sharing a booth in the press box with a couple of old pals - a reporter from a mid-mountain weekly and a writer from one of the Denver dailies. A breeze is blowing into the cramped space, Saharan, the breath of an unearthly and evil blowtorch. Denise has been sucking down bottle after bottle of water. It is 1 p.m. when she turns to me, beads of sweat glistening on her forehead and says: "Please don't consider me forward, Karl. We've known each other for quite a while, so I think I can ask: Have you gone to the bathroom today?"

"What exactly do you mean, Denise?"

Her eyes are rolling back in their sockets as she speaks. "Well, I don't want too many details, Karl. But, you know, the bathroom? Number One?"

"Hmmm, now that you mention it, Denise, I don't believe I have. Why do you ask?"

"We've been here five hours today. I've drank more water than I ever thought possible."




"It's hot."

No It's HOT.

Denise's voice takes on a childlike quality.

"I'm fifty years old, Karl. I don't get paid well enough to go through this. I went to my room after the meet yesterday - a room which, incidentally, is thirty miles away from this stadium - and all I could do was submerge myself in a tub of cold water for an hour, then go to bed. That's pathetic. I have got to change my life, before it's too late. I need to get a real estate license."

Dear heavens it is HOT.

I look at Alan. He has a wet towel draped around the back of his neck. His head is the color of a Bing cherry and it's wobbling around like he's a bobble-head doll in the back window of a speeding, vintage GTO. He is muttering to himself.

The heat is getting to me. It's getting to Alan, to Denise. It's getting to Butch - he barks incessantly during the 3200-meter relay.

I leave the box to take photos. I black out and come to my senses as I'm climbing the 7,000 stairs from the field back to the press box. I spot Osama bin Laden. He's sitting in the stands with Eleanor Roosevelt. They're sipping mojitos.

It's HOT.

One of our local coaches stops me as I head over to chat with Mark Rothko and Hans Hoffman. I want to ask a couple of dead painters what they think of the fact the meet directors are piping arias from "Manon Lescaut" over the stadium PA system.

The coach asks if I can provide some photos for the team's awards banquet slide show. Indeed I can, I reply. I tell Rothko I'll be right back and, humming along with "In quelle trine morbide," I stumble over to the section of the stands where the Pagosa athletes and fans sit. I figure I'll shoot photos of the fans who have traveled all the way to Pueblo from their cool mountain homes to sit in Hell and watch kids die of heat exhaustion.

I try to be discreet but, as usual, where discretion is concerned, I fail. Everyone I try to photograph notices me. Furthermore, every one of them scowls at me. One woman who, in my limited experience, has always seemed preternaturally friendly, growls at me when she sees the camera. I decide against my better judgement to descend again to the field below and shoot the entire group with a long lens. All I get is a group scowl.

It's HOT.

I make one last trip up the 25,000 steps from field to the press box, leaving behind a trail of melted fat, like an immense, gap-toothed snail crossing the Beastmaster's infinitely wide driveway.

Denise is splashing herself with water, her eyes spinning like those goofy hubcaps on a lowrider. Alan thinks he's watching a volleyball match. Periodically, he yells out something like: "For heaven's sake, set your middle hitter. What do you think she's there for!"

I resolve to think cool thoughts, to regain control in the midst of this Plutonian nightmare.

I remember Eleanor and Osama. By golly, those crafty characters have the right idea!


A cooling Cuban beverage.

With snacks!

That'll do it.

"Listen, you guys," I announce to Denise and Alan. " I've got the answer. We can beat this heat: We can whip up some mojitos and fix some treats. We'll wrestle this blazing beast to the ground with food and drink."

Denise puts her head on the counter. "I can be a broker in no time. I'm a smart woman; I can pass the test. I'll buy a Hummer, with air conditioning and a CD player for my Barry Manilow collection, and I'll cart Texans around Salida. I want my mommy."

I turn to Alan. He informs me the volleyball match is into a fifth and deciding game, rally scoring to fifteen. He's gone, and he's not coming back.

Not me. I turn to Butch and tell him we're drinking mojitos and eating a bit of country paté, with butter, on bits of baguette.

He barks. He's excited.

The mojito, a Cuban drink (oh, those commie jerks!), is a perfect elixir on a torrid summer day. Say what you will about Castro, but those darned Cubans know how to deal with the heat. And they know how to enjoy zippy music while they drink.

Before you begin the process of manufacturing a mojito, you must pronounce the word correctly. It is not "mow-gee-tah," it is "mow-hee-tow."

You need light or white rum.

You need plenty of fresh mint.

You need sugar, granulated and abrasive as all get-out.

You need limes. For one drink, juice one lime, save the juice, save the rind.

You need club soda.

All the food groups.

You must be prepared to muddle. (Oh, sweet irony - given how muddled I am, due to this heat.) Forget all the fancy doodads made for muddling in the bar trade and just throw the expended lime, four or five sprigs of fresh mint, 2 teaspoons of the granulated sugar into the bottom of a large glass and add a teensy splash of soda. Crush the stuff, work it around with something made of wood, and keep muddling until the sugar is dissolved and the air is nice and minty. Remove the lime rind.

Add the lime juice, add 2 ounces rum - no, wait, add three ounces - and shake with ice. Strain and pour over cracked ice in a highball glass, top off with soda, garnish with mint sprig,

Sip. Cool down.

I sit back in my chair in the booth: I sip my mojito. They are playing Cuban music on the PA system.

I ask Aunt Gladys if she'd like a drink, but she reminds me she doesn't imbibe.

Butch, however, is another matter.

After all, it's HOT.


Extension Viewpoints

Precaution needed when handling Myrtle spurge

By Bill Nobles

PREVIEW Columnist

June 2 - Quilting Project meeting, 4 p.m.; Shady Pines Club meeting, 7 p.m.

June 3 - Colorado Mountaineers Club meeting, 1:15 p.m.; Goat Project meeting, 3 p.m.

June 6 - Dog Obedience Project meeting, 4 p.m.; Sportsfishing meeting at Echo Lake, 4:30 p.m.; Beef Project meeting, 6:30 p.m.

June 7 - Entomology project trip, 12:30-3:30 p.m.; Livestock Committee meeting, 6:30 p.m.

June 8 - Pagosa Peaks Club meeting, 6:30 p.m.

June 9 - Quality assurance meeting for 4-H Livestock, 7 p.m.

Coloradans will encounter many varieties of weeds during the spring and summer, whether they're gardening, hiking or enjoying other outdoor activities.

A common noxious weed, Myrtle spurge, can cause severe allergic reactions, warns an official with the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

"While Myrtle spurge is the most widespread of the 18 noxious weeds targeted for statewide eradication, it is still found in relatively small pockets," said Eric Lane, state weed coordinator at CDA.

"Introduced as a Xeriscape plant, it has spread widely from Golden to Meeker and is a cousin of leafy spurge, which is a more commonly recognized weed."

Also known as donkeytail spurge, Myrtle spurge has a white sap that is toxic to humans and can cause severe allergic reactions, which includes skin blistering. People who are handling this plant need to take the necessary precautions to avoid contact with the skin. Suggestions include wearing long pants, long-sleeved shirts and gloves to reduce the chances of making contact with the sap that can be secreted by the stems, leaves and roots. As an added precaution, people can also wear protective eyewear, such as sunglasses. Also people should avoid touching noses, eyes or other areas of the face with their gloved hands.

The Colorado Noxious Weed program works with counties and cities throughout the state to prevent the introduction of new invasive plant species, to eradicate species with isolated or limited populations and to manage invasive species that are well established and widespread in Colorado. The state noxious weed list is required by state law, and one of the accepted control methods is physical removal. While it is vital to protect the natural areas from this fast spreading, nonnative species, it is most important for the public to be aware of the potential impacts of handling it and to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves from exposure.

For more information about noxious weeds, contact the Colorado Department of Agriculture at (303) 239-4121 or visit the Internet at www.ag.state.co.us.

Fish gear getting dusty?

Do you have new or used fly fishing rods or tackle collecting dust at your home, in your garage or storage unit?

The Archuleta County 4-H Sportsfishing Project is in need of your equipment. Please bring any fly fishing gear you no longer want to Extension office for local 4-Hers to use to complete their yearly projects. We will even provide you a donation receipt. The office is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. If you have questions, give us a call and we will try to answer them.

Judges needed

The Archuleta County 4-H Program is in need of a few more Livestock Record Book judges to accommodate the increase in 4-H livestock members. Anyone who is familiar with 4-H and livestock is welcome to volunteer as a record book judge at this year's fair.

The judging is twofold: an interview with the 4-H member and then judging of the 4-H record book. The interview process takes place at the Archuleta County Fair 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 7. Each judge is assigned a species: beef, swine, sheep, goat, horse, or rabbit. We provide breakfast and lunch for all the judges that Sunday.

Prior to the fair, we always have an orientation luncheon meeting with all judges. This meeting gets all the judges acquainted with each other, and prepares the new judges for the interview/judging process. Again, lunch is provided by the 4-H program.

We are looking for three volunteers to judge swine, two each to judge beef, sheep and goat and one volunteer to help judge rabbit. If this is something you are interested in, call Pamela at the Extension office, 264-5931.

Seed potatoes

Still need seed potatoes? We've got about 35 pounds of Yukon Gold seed potatoes for those who missed out. First-come, first-served, at 40 cents a pound.

Check out our Web page at www.archuleta.colostate.edu for calendar events and info.

Pagosa Lakes News

Kids Fishing Derby set June 11 at Hatcher Lake

By Larry Lynch

PLPOA environment manager

The Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association will sponsor the annual Kid's Fishing Derby 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, June 11, at Hatcher Lake.

The Kid's Fishing Derby is for those 16 and under and no fishing license or permit is required. It is a free event and open to the general public. At noon we will provide a hot dog lunch followed by prizes and awards for the kids.

We plan to have four different age categories, with winners placing in each age group. Every kid will receive a prize from an array of new fishing poles, reels, tackle boxes, lures and other fishing-related tackle.

The association has sponsored this event every year since the early '90s and it is always a fun day with plenty of fishing, food and prizes. We ask that each group of kids come with an adult to help out. We will setup the registration table at 8:30 a.m. at the jetty on the west side of the lake near the boat ramp and water treatment plant.

The best access will be eight miles north on Piedra Road turning left on North Pagosa Boulevard, taking the third left on to Saturn Drive then proceeding to Hatcher Circle where you will see our setup.

Hatcher Lake was recently stocked with several thousand pounds of trout and bass and the fishing has been excellent. Make sure to bring a fishing pole for each child along with bait, hooks and other basic fishing gear as well as sunscreen and a hat.

Wildfire fuel reduction

On a separate note, the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association plans to contract out some wildfire fuel reduction work in the Lake Forest Estates subdivision in the middle of June. The primary target area is a large greenbelt to the north of Dutton Drive in greenbelt Tract A. The project goal is to thin and reduce brush and overcrowded trees in the greenbelt in an effort to help protect homes and properties.

This area borders National Forest as well as Martinez Canyon and represents a wildfire potential. We plan to create an area of defensible space between the canyon and a number of homes and properties through manual thinning and removal techniques using Colorado State Forest Service guidelines.

The target area prescription was developed in conjunction with, and with field support from the Colorado State Forest Service in Durango and Pagosa Springs.

Residents living along the north side of Dutton Drive and directly next to the greenbelt received a letter informing them of the project. Work hours will be 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday until project completion. The contractors will flag and sign work areas notifying property owners of operations. There will be very short periods of time that the trail leading from North Pagosa Boulevard into Martinez Canyon for work directly next to the trail.

If you would like more information, call me at the association office in Vista at 731-5635.


Kate Isabella Bennet

Mike and Candida Bennett are proud to announce the birth of their daughter, Kate Isabella, born May 6, 2005 at 5:19 p.m. in Colorado Springs. She weighed 6 pounds, 14 ounces. Kate's maternal grandparents are Ray Martinez and Darlene Lujan; great-grandparents are Abel and Clara Martinez, and Santana and Emma Lujan, all of Pagosa Springs. Paternal grandparents are Sterling and Mary Jane Bennett of Atlanta, Ga. and Skip and Judy Barber of Sharon, Conn.; great-grandparents are Marion Bennett and Ralph and Bertha Newton of Florida.


Letha M. Adams

Letha May Adams, 93, was born Nov. 27, 1911, and died Feb. 18, 2005, at Pine Ridge Extended Care Center in Pagosa Springs.

The family invites all family members and friends of Letha to join them for a celebration of her life 11 a.m. Saturday, June 11, at Community United Methodist Church in Pagosa Springs.

Any contributions in lieu of flowers may be made to the San Juan Historical Museum in Pagosa Springs.


Linda Hawkins

Linda Hawkins, age 73, of Cedar Park, Texas, (formerly of Pagosa Springs and Lake Charles, La.) passed away Sunday, May 29, 2005.

Linda was born in rural east Texas, Feb. 28, 1932. She was married to Howard Hawkins for 53 years.

Linda took pride in her career as a homemaker, a vocation she practiced for 53 years. She loved to read and, until her later years, was an avid tennis player, skier and gardener. Linda enjoyed entertaining and loved being in the company of her friends. She knew the fine art of conversation and was an excellent storyteller. She could make us laugh with her and at ourselves. Linda was a lady of great style.

She was preceded in death by her father, Ike Tyer, stepfather, George Sowell, and mother, Cleo Clark Sowell. She is survived by her husband, Howard Hawkins; by her daughters Molly Raine and Sherry Gonzales; by her grandchildren Paul Raine and his wife Jerrilyn, Jeff Raine and his wife Priscilla, and Cynthia Gonzales; and by her great-grandchild Ceraela Raine.

Memorial Services were 11 a.m. today at Westin Inn in Temple, Texas. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Scott and White Center for Cancer Prevention and Care and sent to Scott and White Development Office, 2401 South 31st Street, Temple, Texas, 76508.


Faith Bradshaw

Faith Bradshaw, 82, who moved to Pagosa Springs in January 2000 from Tulsa, Okla., passed away May 25, 2005, in Pine Ridge Extended Care Center.

She was born Aug. 8, 1923, to Andrew Jackson Eakins and Iva B. Eakins in Beggs, Okla.

A member of the U.S. Navy Womens Reserve, she was employed as an office manager for an insurance broker for 20 years prior to her retirement. Her hobbies included music - singing, piano and playing ukulele.

No funeral service was held, at her request, and there was cremation. The family suggests any memorials be made to the Alzheimer's Association.

Survivors are three sisters, Jane Anderson of Bull Shoals Ark., Jackie Peters of Wichita, Kan., and Miriam Rachels of Memphis, Tenn; a daughter, Pam Spitler, of Pagosa Springs; grandsons Aaron Lauver of Houston, Texas, Michael Spitler of Pagosa Springs, Ryan Spitler of Reno, Nev., and Houston Spitler of Norman, Okla; and granddaughter Sandy Spitler, great-grandson Benjamin Kane of Denver and great-granddaughter Karisa Kane, also of Denver.


Abe Rodriguez

Abe Rodriguez was born July 14, 1933, in Pagosa Springs and passed away May 19, 2005, in Tucson, Ariz., where he'd been living with his daughter, Berna Dee Brogan, and family.

Abe graduated from Pagosa Springs High School in May 1951 and served in the U.S. Navy 1952-1956. When he returned he was employed by the U.S. Forest Service until retirement.

He leaves to mourn him his only daughter, Berna Dee Brogan; son-in-law Jerry Brogan, grandchildren Amanda, Ira and Danielle Brogan; two sisters, Isabel Martinez of Fresno, Calif., and Terrisa Diestelkamp of Pagosa Springs; many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.


Tony R. Chavez

Funeral Services were held at 10 a.m. Tuesday at St. Peter and Santa Rosa in Arboles for Tony Raymond Chavez, whose death was announced in last week's SUN. Burial was in Pagosa Junction Cemetery.

The name of a sister, Ida Schofield Chavez, was inadvertently omitted from the list of survivors provided by the family.


 Business News
Chamber News

We know how to pull together as community

By Mary Jo Coulehan

SUN Columnist

We live in a great community.

I see it around me all the time. Take, for example, the situation with the recent high waters. Thank you to all the volunteers, the Town of Pagosa Springs, and Search and Rescue who sandbagged the flooding areas like the Lower Blanco and San Juan River Village.

There were numerous restaurants (see separate article) which donated food to the volunteers. Thank you for your generosity. Then there were the employees at The Springs Resort who worked so hard trying to save higher pools as the waters covered the lower ones. You all were just workhorses, and you're awesome. Your arms will stop dragging the ground soon!

Then we had the new Archuleta County chapter of the American Red Cross of SW Colorado. They manned a mass disaster booth at Search and Rescue for days watching out to see who in the community needed help. What an initiation! Thank you for all your time and efforts. See, we know how to pull together as a community. Thanks to all for your efforts during this reality check.

And then don't we have some talent in the community?

"Kaleidoscope" was great! The local talent both old (relative term, folks) and young were really on their marks. It was such a walk down memory lane to see and hear some of the encore acts from previous performances. I hope that a similar performance will be held again. Thank you for giving us a great evening of entertainment.

Congratulations to the participants of the Fiber Festival. What a great weekend you provided for us. If I didn't have five dogs, oh those wooly animals are great. The demonstrations were so interesting and all the people were knowledgeable and friendly. I hope the auction went well for your organization. I can't wait until next year when I'm sure it will continue to be even bigger and better.

Creede Repertory Theatre

You know summer is here when the Creede Repertory Theatre starts up with its wonderful performances for the season. This year CRT celebrates its 40th anniversary. Congratulations to another successful Chamber member.

The theatre will host the opening night gala Friday, June 3, with a dinner and the performance of "Noises Off." The dinner catered by Chalet Swiss will consist of prime rib and all the other good stuff that goes with this dish.

"Noises Off" is an award winning play that is a comic romp. A group of British actors perform a play and at the same time the audience can eavesdrop on their backstage craziness. Between the play and the reality of the backstage action, the show turns into a hilarious farce. Get ready to laugh. The dinner and stage is $40 and seating is limited. Call (866) 658-2540.

In addition to this play, the CRT season will also include "Lumberjacks in Love", a comedy about some lonely lumberjacks, a master of disguise and a mail order bride; "Light Up the Sky," another comedy staged in the 1940s, about a theater group waiting for the success of their new play; "Broadway Bound," by Neil Simon - need I say more?; "Slabtown," about a man who will do anything to follow the desires of his heart; and "Shirley Valentine," about the British housewife who wonders what happened to her life and then begins to see her world in a different light when she takes an all-expenses-paid vacation to Greece.

Creede Repertory Theatre is always enjoyable. Call the 800 number or come by the Chamber to pick up their newsletter and find out more about their plays throughout the summer.

Pagosa Spring Fling

Sponsored by Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, the Spring Fling will take place at the west campus of the Catholic Church on South Pagosa Boulevard, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, June 4.

The Spring Fling will have something for everyone - from garage sale items, to a silent auction, kids games, a pie eating contest and a food court. The silent auction has items such as lodging, gourmet meals, quilts, and unique craft items.

You know how those Knights of Columbus put on the fish fry ... well, they will have barbecue with gourmet hamburgers, bratwurst, hot dogs and the Knight's famous "Fresh French Fries." The Guadalupana Society will provide fabulous Mexican food and the Altar Society will have items for your sweet tooth. Plan a day of fun, shopping and a feeding frenzy.


We have quite a few new members and renewals this week.

I am always honored when businesses join our organization and choose to support our efforts and that of the community. So with no further ado, let's welcome all the members this week.

You know the place, Pagosa Outside/Backcountry Angler, located in the strip center at Pagosa and 4th Streets - but there are new owners. John Dean will still offering exhilarating whitewater rafting trips through the scenic Mesa Canyon and fly-fishing trips to some great spots around Pagosa. They will also have a full retail shop if you need some new clothing or fishing gear. They are in a great spot, so swing by and see all the new merchandise. Or, give them a call at 264-4202. Don't forget to plan some activities for all those people who will be visiting you this summer.

We have the new operators of Stevens Field joining us this week - Avjet Corporation. Avjet is a general aviation fixed base operation or FBO. While Archuleta County owns the airport facility, Avjet operates all the fixed facilities like fueling, maintenance, and the coming and going of the aircraft. We welcome their participation with the Chamber. Contact Nancy Torrey at 731-2127 should you need any information about Avjet or the airport facilities.

Now here's a handy member: Mel Cassio and the Cassio Group, which offers multimedia production, Web site design, graphics and marketing, animation, video and audio. They can produce interactive CDs, DVDs, family photo albums and presentations should you need a professional product. They also provide graphic design for brochures and flyers. I can barely put a power point presentation together, so this is my kind of guy. If you are like me, give Mel a call at 264-0562 to help you with all your media needs.

Another new member, Farrago's, is joined this week by Jean Lewis and Miss Jean's. Miss Jean's delightful clothing offers casual wear, active wear, shoes (my favorite), lingerie, jewelry and all those accessories a woman needs. She fits sizes 2 to 19 and at "Pagosa practical" prices and styles. They are at the corner of Pagosa and South 2nd Streets and her number is 264-6477. Fun clothes, great colors, and a convenient location make this store a must for the women to visit. You men too - great gifts!

Renewing this week are Switchback Mountain Gear and Apparel; Aaron's Fitness and Strength Training (back and in even bigger and better shape); Adventures at Serendipity, Mountain Home and Guest Studio in San Juan River Resort; Herman Riggs and Associates (since 1977); Fire Ready of Pagosa Springs; and The Ladies in Wading Pagosa Flyfishers.

Associate members renewing this week are Kenneth Ceradsky and Jack and Katy Threet. These individuals are so generous to this community and I treasure their friendship. Thank you for supporting the efforts of the Chamber.

I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend. Now, you can get into the swing of summer, plan those vacations, make money while the sun shines or just stay home and enjoy your family. I will be busy letting you know all the great happenings that will be going on this summer. Keep in touch.

Biz Briefs

Lower Blanco property owner's

meet June 25

The Lower Blanco Property Owner's Association will hold its annual meeting noon June 25 at the Rio Blanco RV Park on U.S. 84 at the Blanco River.

A potluck feast is planned and Lower Blanco residents are encouraged to bring their favorite side dish. The association will furnish the brisket, soft drinks and iced tea. Please bring your own eating utensils.

Election of officers and directors will occur at this meeting. Positions up for election are vice president and four directors. Nominees must be current members of the Lower Blanco Property Owner's Association. Newly elected board members will commence their term Sept. 1.

Important by-law changes will also be discussed along with an update on the river restoration project. Those who have a desire to become involved in serving on the board are encouraged to participate in this meeting.


Biz Beat

The Plaid Pony

Michael DeWinter owns and operates The Plaid Pony which has moved to its new, permanent home at 27B Talisman Drive, Suite 3, in the Citizen's Bank Plaza across the street from McDonald's.

The Plaid Pony offers full-service fresh florals, tuxedo rentals, a variety of gift items, interior design services (with a 400 square-foot design studio) and furnishings.

Added at the new location is an expanded selection of merchandise, including party supplies and gift wrap.

Don't forget Friday Fresh Flower Happy Hour, 3-6 p.m., with all cut stems half price, cash and carry.

The Plaid Pony is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Call 731-5262.


Cards of Thanks
Quick response

I would like to thank my friends, neighbors and EMS for being so quick to get me to the hospital, Dr. Wienpahl and all the nice people at Pine Ridge, and especially Mary Ann Martinez. Also, thank you to the doctors and nurses at Mercy Medical Center.

God bless you all!

Willie Trujillo

 Rafting accident

Those of us involved in the rafting accident May 23 would like to extend our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Search and Rescue, the fire department, Red Cross and volunteers for their time and effort in bringing us to safety.

It was a frightening experience full of uncertainty. Those who helped showed such care and concern for our health and safety, which was a huge comfort. We are very fortunate to have so many people in this community who are willing to help those in need.

Voelker family, Ed King, Karen Wessels, Kathi Wunderlich

 Volunteer help

The Archuleta County Red Cross Disaster Action Team would like to thank the following businesses and persons for their kind donation of 253 meals for the sandbagging crew, Search and Rescue, firefighters and EMS volunteers during last week's flood crisis and associated river search and rescues. Our sincerest thanks go to (in order of donation) McDonalds, KFC, Subway, City Market, The Junction Restaurant, The Hogsbreath Saloon, Dionigi's, Pizza Hut, Elkhorn Cafe, The Malt Shoppe, The Humane Society, The Rose Restaurant, DAT advisory board member Art Schaefer, and Joy Mathis, a board member of the Southwest Colorado Red Cross Chapter in Durango.

The DAT team was called up by incident commander Greg Oertel, Sunday afternoon, May 22, to establish a station at the Search and Rescue base at the airport to assist families that were being evacuated because of the flood of the Blanco and San Juan rivers, as well as to provide meals and refreshments to the numerous volunteers who participated in the effort. Without all of the hard work of everyone involved, the crisis would have affected many more families.




Kathleen and Karl Isberg, of Pagosa Springs, are simultaneously proud and anxious as they announce the engagement of their daughter, Ivy Isberg, to Mark Fierer. The wedding is set to take place Aug. 7, 2005, in Malibu, Calif. Odds that it will occur are now at even money. The couple, both graduates of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, currently reside in Hollywood, Calif. They intend to honeymoon in Warsaw, Poland, where they plan to move shortly after the blissful event.



Breezy Beckler

Breezy Autumn Beckler graduated April 30 from Fort Lewis College in Durango with a bachelor of arts degree with an emphasis in ceramics and graduated with distinction, summa cum laude.

She is also a member of the Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society.

Breezy is a high-school graduate of Abeka Correspondence School and is the daughter of Larry and Cindy McCormick of Pagosa Springs.


Sports Page

Denver area foes can't hold down Pagosa gymnasts

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Athletes from Pagosa Springs Gymnastics moved up in the competition ranks in the second meet of the season and held their own against competitors in an 11-team field, nine teams from the Denver metro area.

The result was outstanding performance by some new names for Pagosa - Becky Riedberger, Satara Vanderbeek, Danielle and Gabrielle Pajak.

Riedberger and Vanderbeek, competing in Level 4, were particularly powerful, said coach Jennifer Martin.

In a field of 22, Riedberger was second on balance beam with a score of 9.25 and sixth in all-around with 35.75, a full point higher than her previous best.

Vanderbeek was 13th all-around in the class. Martin noted that, had the scoring been by age group, Riedberger would have won her division and Vanderbeek would have been second.

The Optional A group for Pagosa brought home the second-place team trophy with consistent performances throughout the competition at Gymnastics Unlimited in Northglenn.

Martin said Danielle Pajak literally sparked her squad in the 9-12 group finishing fourth on bars, fifth on vault and fourth all-around.

Re'ahna Ray was seventh in the all-around, grabbing silver on the bars with a 9.1 and placing fourth in floor exercise.

Gabrielle Pajak was ninth in all-around and was on the award stand in every event for Pagosa Springs. The Pajak sisters recently moved here from Montrose where they formerly competed against Pagosa.

Toni Stoll placed eleventh in the all-around and brought home silver with a 9.0 on the beam.

In the 13-plus division field of 21, Casey Crow was seventh in the all-around with a third on bars and fourth on beam, bettering her last meets all-around by two full points.

In Optional B, team leader Shelby Stretton "may have had a concentration outage" according to her coach, but still finished fourth in an 11-person field with a second in floor exercise with a 9.2 and a third on bars with an 8.7.

The girls will all be pushing for state qualifying marks in a Friday competition in Grand Junction, the final team event before state gymnastics events later this month.


High Peaks Volleyball Club

hosts pizza party, heads to Reno

Pagosa's High Peaks Volleyball Club, a USA Volleyball affiliated program, will participate this summer in the 2005 Volleyball Festival in Reno, Nev.

The festival is the largest annual sporting event in the world, with over 21,000 girls from all parts of the United States and surrounding countries participating in age group volleyball competition from 12 and under to 18 and under.

The High Peaks Volleyball Club will take part in an "Olympic Style" opening ceremony, and participate in 15 matches over a five-day period, with the finals being nationally televised.

Over 250 college coaches will be on hand to actively recruit the players participating in this year's festival.

High Peaks Volleyball Club must raise over $6,000 for this trip. So, on Sunday, June 5, the club will hold an all-you-can-eat Pizza and Soft Drink Night at Dionigis Italian Restaurant, 117 Navajo Trail next to the Silverado Western Clothing Store.

Bring your appetites between 2 and 5:30 p.m. to enjoy this all-you-can-eat event at a cost of $8 - and donations for the High Peaks Volleyball are welcome. Tickets may be purchased before the event by calling 731-1711.

If you are interested in donating to the High Peaks Volleyball Club in any other way to help defray costs for this event, call 731-1711.

Surf's up on Pagosa's 'Davey Wave'

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

Who would have thought it? The recent San Juan high water flows have inspired the area's landlocked surfers to leap into the river with their surfboards.

And after countless attempts over the past few weeks, the local surfers have recently succeeded in riding Pagosa's new wave.

Recently dubbed the "Davey Wave," after the Wolf Creek Ski Area's owner, Davey Pitcher, who contributed the equipment which built the wave's underlying rock structure this past winter, it has proved to be a popular kayak surf wave. Yet, few have attempted to board surf it, which requires first "catching" the wave while paddling prone on the surfboard, then standing up in order to carve turns on the standing wave.

The Davey Wave is known to be more difficult to surf than an ocean wave due to the high speed of the river.

"You would never see a wave that small move that fast in the ocean", says Jason Werby, who has been surfing most of his life and who travels to the ocean for an annual surf pilgrimage each year.

"When I first moved here in 1995, we also had high flows, and I saw the potential for surfing in the San Juan. I assumed it would be like that every year."

Werby had to wait 10 years for the surfable high flow like we have this year.

At least three surfers have succeeded in standing the town wave. Jim Porch and Werby surfed the wave using short boards and swimming into the wave from the Hot Springs Boulevard Bridge, while Jerome Nobles caught the wave using a long board by jumping directly into the river from the adjacent shore.

As snowboarder Werby aptly states, you can "ride it when it snows, and ride it when it melts, too!"


Area biking trails serve novice and serious rider alike

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

The snow is melted, summer is coming, and the mountain bike trails are ready for action.

Pagosa Springs has ample trails for beginner and advanced mountain bike trail riders, and the combination of altitude, moderate to steep terrain and beautiful settings makes for some amazing rides.

Reservoir Hill offers secluded riding in a wilderness setting yet is only minutes from downtown. Jeni Wiskofske, who often rides her bike to work at the senior center, takes advantage of her midday half hour break to ride a loop on Reservoir Hill.

"Mountain biking is a great way to get some exercise and unwind. It's important to me to be able to get some exercise when working full time, and having Reservoir Hill so close makes it easier to stay in shape and be healthy."

It takes about 15 minutes of mellow switchback riding to get to the top of the hill; there, one is rewarded with a fine view and a choice of many downhill trails ranging from easy to advanced.

Another great moderate local ride is the Turkey Springs Trail, a 12-mile loop running off Piedra Road, with stunning views while riding a mixture of trails and Forest Service roads.

For those interested in advanced rides, there are excellent local point-to-point rides which may require an automobile shuttle, such as the Treasure Mountain Trail off East Fork Road, a 15-mile trail on rugged terrain with spectacular views.

Such high mountain trails may still have too much snow, but should be accessible by the end of June, said Wayne Pippenger, of Juan's River Sports.

While other neighboring towns are well known for the mountain biking and attract visitors from all over the state, here you will find great riding, views and solitude, and "not be bothered by a lot of people," according to Pippenger, who estimates that there only about a few hundred mountain bikers in town.

For more information on the local riding, contact Gary Hopkins at the Wolf Creek Wheel Club, 264-6300, which organizes weekly road and mountain bike rides.


High waters slow many local anglers

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Even with the weekend's rain, cooler temperatures have brought river flows down, but those flows are still too high for quality stream fishing.

With many streams and rivers still blown out with runoff, anglers might be best advised to stick with area lakes and reservoirs. Williams Creek, below the dam, might be the exception to the rule.

At that location, anglers nymphing the deep pocket water behind boulders and working the foam line between faster current and eddies did fairly well with black, bead head Wooly Buggers size 10 and 12, and black, bead head stonefly patterns also size 10 and 12.

One fisherman out of Roswell, N.M. landed a 20-inch trout on a size 12, black, egg sucking leech pattern.

The word on the river was to fish deep with anything black with a bead head.

Local fishing guide Mark "Pops" Miller, said area lakes are still the way to go.

He said Echo Lake, Williams Lake and the Pagosa Lakes area lakes are fishing great, and anglers with boats should do well.

Area lakes: Olive Damselfly nymphs size 12 and 14 have been effective during the last week. On windless mornings and evenings, tan or grey parachute caddis patterns sizes 14 and 16 effectively imitate the naturals on the water. Also size 20 and 22 parachute Adams have been effective imitating this "midge" hatch.

In order to fish the Pagosa Lakes area lakes such as Pagosa, Hatcher, Village and Forest, a special license is required. The license can be purchased at the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center.


Pagosa Springs Recreation

Challenges of sport improve our lives

By Myles Gabel

SUN Columnist

Sport has often been called a metaphor for life, simulating the ups and downs, positives and negatives, courage and fear.

By competing regularly, we expose our weaknesses and stretch our physical and mental capacities to the limit.

This is greatly satisfying, in my opinion, for challenges make us stronger and force us to adapt better in the future. What is really neat is that the benefits of participating in sports can also spill over into real life.

Here are some areas where playing sports can lead to personal growth:

- Problem solving enhancement - problems on the court or on the field begin to be viewed as exciting puzzles rather than threatening sources of future failure.

- Renewal of energies - a good, heated battle distracts you from the real problems in life, renews your batteries and increases your level of fitness.

- Self-confidence building - handling adversity in sports may help boost confidence in dealing with real life problems.

- Self-esteem enhancement - when self-esteem is measured by factors under your control (e.g. trying hard, defeating the inner fears) rather than outcome (winning or losing) you are no longer at risk for self-depreciation following a loss.

Here are some tips which will also enhance personal growth:

- Don't get too serious - give your absolute best during the game, but reinterpret a loss as simply an excellent lesson for the next game.

- Have fun - enjoyment helps you learn faster and perform better.

- Never give up - even when down, the game is not yet finished. Staying positive in these situations reinforces the values of consistency and perseverance, and builds confidence.

- Remember - always believe in yourself, on and off the court or the field of play. Belief in self improves performance and builds character.

Adult softball

Adult softball is right around the corner. Get your teams together now for the upcoming leagues.

You must reserve your spot by Tuesday, June 7. Men's and coed leagues will be offered, with play beginning the week of June 13.

Call the recreation department immediately to reserve a spot for your team,

Rockies Skills Challenge

Young baseball fans can exhibit their baseball skills when Pagosa Springs Recreation Department hosts a Rockies Baseball Skills Challenge competition at the Pagosa Springs Sports Complex, 10 a.m. Saturday, June 11.

Competition is free and open to boys and girls ages 6 through 13. Boys and girls have separate divisions. Age classification is determined by a child's age as of Dec. 31 of the current year.

Rockies Baseball Skills Challenge is a competition that allows youngsters to showcase their talents in base running, batting and throwing, with scores based on speed, distance and accuracy. Top scorers from each age group advance to a sectional competition.

Umpires needed

Pagosa Springs 6-8 Coach-Pitch, 9-10 Mustang, 11-12 Bronco and 13-14 Pony Baseball leagues have begun play and will continue through the end of June.

The recreation department seeks individuals interested in officiating youth baseball and/or adult softball. High School students may apply.

Compensation is $10-$25 per game depending on age group and experience. Call immediately if interested.

Adult soccer

Anyone interested in playing coed adult soccer should come to the soccer field adjacent to the Pagosa Springs High School football stadium every Tuesday at 6 p.m.

If you need additional information call the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department and have your name placed on our team lists.

Sports Hotline

Information concerning the recreation department may be obtained by calling the Pagosa Springs Sports Hotline at 264-6658 or logging on to townofpagosasprings.com and going to the Parks and Recreation link. All schedules and upcoming events are updated every Monday morning.

For additional information about any of the town's adult or youth sports programs, contact me at 264-4151, Ext. 232.


Time to clean it up

The recent clean-up week in Pagosa Springs was used to great advantage by many residents. It is, in fact, overused at times, im-periling its future. County residents will have a chance June 4 to avail themselves of a sponsored clean-up opportunity, granted a free day at the landfill for deposit of certain types of trash.

Clean-up is a worthy activity, be it on the home front or on a greater, community level. Our pride in place is displayed by how well we care for our surroundings and, since we live in one of the more special environments around, we should heed the call to ensure the area remains as trash free as possible in as many ways as possible.

We complain long and loud, in fact we waste our breath moaning about the careless residents and visitors who, we hope without thinking, scatter debris about the landscape - tossing sacks of fast food trash, cans, bottles, loads of cigarette butts and ashes, and often truckloads of refuse along the thoroughfares. Our complaints are to no avail. Fortunately, there are groups and individuals who give of their time to periodically walk the sides of those roadways and pick up the garbage left by others. This is a perpetual battle.

On the other hand, there are forms of unsightly clutter in the community that can be dealt with and modified, if only we have the resolve.

This debris takes different forms, often buildings or properties poorly maintained or used in slovenly fashion. When this is mentioned, many among us are unwilling to admit the negative effect of these properties; when it is proposed that structures be demolished or removed, to be replaced by more aesthetic and productive buildings, there are those who, washed with blind sentiment, react reflexively, lamenting long and loudly about the process. The same response often meets proposals to adjust the use of certain properties, less-than-attractive in the public eye.

In truth, however, in many cases it is a matter of good riddance. Outdated, outmoded, and ill-kept structures and properties of no aesthetic or historical character should be removed, or changed.

There are private moves afoot in town to replace structures, plans to develop properties, to improve the downtown area. Yes, improve it - if all works well, if all takes place simultaneous with government exercising its obligation to create and enforce codified community standards, doing what it can to protect residents from undue damage. The changes can produce positive results.

And, we must ask: What is happening elsewhere in the county, especially along the highway corridors that lead in and out of Pagosa Country?

Drive the U.S. 160 corridor from the west county line to Pagosa Springs. What you see all too often is a mess. The same sight is encountered elsewhere - unsightly elements next to the roadway, literal junkyards existing due to lack of regulation and enforcement.

They should be cleaned up. The owners of the properties must be as subject to regulation as those who purchase properties and seek to develop them.

The county is behind on its update of ordinances and the creation of the planning tools needed to deal with growth in general and the chaotic mess that grows alongside many of our roadways in particular. The town appears likely to continue on its path, tightening its guidelines. The county should keep pace. It will no doubt be a difficult battle, but it is one that must be joined, and won.

We live in a beautiful place. We, and our visitors, should not drive past junk stacked next to our main roadways. We needed planning and zoning to deal with it 40 years ago; we need it more than ever now.

Karl Isberg


Pacing Pagosa
School board needs our best

By Richard Walter

SUN Columnist


Hey, you wanna be a big wheel in town?

You like to see your name in print?

You want people to know how important your are and how much you mean to the community?

If so, you need not consider running as a school board candidate.

An election this fall will put two full terms on the ballot for the board of education for Archuleta School District 50 Joint, and an incumbent appointee will have to run on his own to finish out that term.

If all the reasons above are out, why would one want to serve? There is no pay. There are long meetings at least once a month with committee and work sessions in between. You are likely to be regarded as wrong by someone no matter what decision you make on any key question.

You set yourself up as a target because you are representing, if elected, the biggest tax collecting agency in the county and continual problems of how best to meet mandated programs without additional funding to operate them.

The Colorado Association of School Boards (CASB) encourages boards of education across the state to court the best minds they can find to serve the community.

School board members come from all walks of life and represent all age brackets, occupations, races and income levels. Effective school board members, CASB says, are those with a strong desire to serve children and the community, a strong belief in value of public schools, ability to work as a member of a team including having an open mind and ability to engage in give-and-take discussions; and respect for the needs and feelings of others.

A board candidate must recognize the proper relationship of the board to the state, the community, and the superintendent, and proper relationship of individual board members to others on the panel.

No one can properly fill a school board seat without preparation, without having attended meetings, having studied policy, facilities, staff, personal problems and probable future decisions which might affect a friendly relationship.

The potential candidate will familiarize himself or herself with the laws which must be followed in operating a school district, the nature of school board work, the functions of a board member and the sense of fairness and justice needed when cast into a role of arbitration.

When the election is held this fall, the current board president, Mike Haynes, will be the senior member, with just two and a half years on the board. Closely behind him is Sandy Caves, elected two years ago; and Matt Aragon, appointed earlier this year. Gone will be board veterans Jon Forrest and Clifford Lucero.

The latter three seats will appear on the ballot. Each represents a specific geographical area within the district. Potential candidates need to be sure which district they live in, what characteristics they possess that will enable them to serve fairly if elected, and a commitment to spend the time and effort to fulfill that role.

If that sounds like you, enter the race; if not, encourage someone you trust to represent you.


90 years ago

Taken from The Pagosa Springs SUN files of June 4, 1915

A goodly portion of the board sidewalk, extending from the Star Theatre to the Montroy buildings, has been taken up preparatory to the laying of cement sidewalks on Pagosa Street in Block 21. The motor for the rock crusher is installed and the laying of concrete will commence in earnest tomorrow.

That piece of sidewalk south of the Baptist Church is rotten. Will some idiot get an inspiration and tell us who is responsible?

The party of hikers that is walking from Pasadena, Calif., to Woodward, Okla., passed through Pagosa Springs Monday. The party did not make the long trip on foot because they had to but because they preferred to walk. All made the journey thus far in good condition.

 75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of June 6, 1930

At this writing, there are upwards of sixty cases of measles reported in Pagosa Springs and vicinity.

The barn, sheds and hay barn at the Noble Snow ranch, nine miles west of town, were completely destroyed by fire last Friday morning. The origin of the fire is unknown and creates quite a loss to Mr. Snow.

W.B. Turner has installed a fifteen-hundred watt Delco plant at his large house on Saddleback Ranch, which furnishes sufficient light for the building.

Saturday evening marked the closing of the Pagosa Springs public library for the summer months. The Women's Civic Club plans to reopen their popular institution about September 1st, providing sufficient funds can be accumulated.

 50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of June 3, 1955

Earl Mullins of Pagosa Springs was elected president of the Colorado Game and Fish Commission at a meeting last week. Mullins was secretary of the commission last year and has been the representative on the commission from this area for a number of years. At the present, Mullins is the only Archuleta County resident serving on any of the various state commissions. The members of the game and fish commission are appointed to six year terms by the governor.

Another county man who is active in state wildlife work is Mr. H. Ray Macht, who is vice president of the Colorado State Wildlife Federation, an organization composed of game and fish clubs from throughout the state.

 25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of June 5, 1980

The San Juan River, and other main streams in the area, have been having the spring runoff at an orderly rate. To date there has been no extremely high water, although the potential has been, and is still there. At the present rate of snow melt it will be at least another month before the normal runoff has taken place. The potential of damaging high water still exists along the major streams in the area, especially in low lying areas.

A subdivision regulation ordinance was adopted on first reading at the town board meeting Tuesday night. The board also rejected bids on water works extensions, citing the lack of funds for such work. Liquor license applications were set for a public hearing.



The Den opens the doorto camaraderie, friends, even life, itself

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Every successful event has some common threads, the special links that make it more than expected.

The same is true for the Silver Foxes Den (the Pagosa Springs Senior Center) operating in the community center building.

For many that link is camaraderie; for others it represents a chance to keep active after a loved one's demise, or an opportunity to meet new people

For others it has become a way of life, an entree back into society, and vision of what was, what is, and what can be and what you can do to make it so.

And, for at least one person who attends The Den regularly, it is - for all practical purposes - life itself.

That man is Wayne Greenhaw, a 67-year-old accustomed, until last year, to working eight hours a day, seven days a week.

It all came to a crumbling halt when one night he felt so weak he couldn't walk, couldn't reach the phone.

He crawled, literally, to his neighbors' house and they called for an ambulance.

Greenhaw had been feeling rundown and a little weaker, but was unaware he had pneumonia and that it was getting worse daily.

The ambulance took him, in a haze, to Mary Fisher Medical Center and moments later he was en route to Mercy Medical Center in Durango.

"As the gurney went through that door into the emergency room," he said, "I died. I was no more. There is no memory of the ensuing interval."

He was on a ventilator for two weeks and "didn't know what was going on. They sawed off parts of two ribs that had become infected. If the infection had spread, I'd have died."

Home nursing service was called in as he recuperated slowly.

One nurse asked him what he wanted most. After thinking a minute, he said "Hugs!" And she gave him a big one.

Life, hugs, hope are all part of what he likes about the center ... but it took a while for him to get there. Despite the nurse's constant urging, he was reluctant to go to The Den.

"But I had never known what it was like to not be touched, to not touch, to not assist someone in trouble," he said.

When he finally went to The Den, "I found it was everything they had told me it would be," he said. "There's a sense of belonging, of enjoyment, of acceptance, a place where you get what you need ... including lots of hugs."

You become more accepting by being accepted, he said. "You see others who need help and you want to force yourself to get better so you can provide that help."

You push yourself, share laughter and tears "real feelings for real people you never knew before."

You are accepted in The Den for what and who you are, not who you feel they want you to be.

"I have the feeling now," he said, that this is my place, it's where I want to be, where I belong. These are my people. I'm alive again.

Spry at 92

After dancing his daily jig with The Den's assistant director, George Golightly goes back to his table and the new friends he has found in The Den.

It's hard, he says, to put into words the meanings he's found there.

"It's a place to meet friends, have a good meal, share meaningful conversation and thoughts on events of the day - and the past.

"It really makes me aware of myself," he said. "I have to get up and get ready to go. It forces me to do something. No rocker on the porch for me."

Golightly has been coming to The Den, first on 8th Street and now in the community center, since shortly after his wife of 65 years died six years ago.

He talked of meeting her in Golden where he was born and raised.

"She played in an all-girl dance band," he said ... "I really miss her."

He feels he owes his longevity to his years as a postal carrier in Golden, walking an 11-mile route daily.

"Coming here (The Den) gives me a place to keep walking, to keep in shape," he said. "I get to greet people, exchange an occasional joke, recall old times, but most of all I have friends who can and will talk to me about almost anything. That keeps the mind healthy, too."

Loves to volunteer

Betty Hayes says she comes "because of the people who attend with her, the administration, the cooks ... all of whom do a great job.

"When I first started coming four years ago," he said, "I didn't know many people. It provided me an outlet, gave me a chance to meet new people, an opportunity to keep myself going."

Now she finds herself volunteering there every Friday. And as a result, is now also a Diplomat volunteer at the Chamber of Commerce and works at a realty firm and as a thrift store volunteer.

Widowed seven years, she came here from the Kansas City area, looking for a path to the future, an outlet for pent up energy.

She found it in The Den, she said. "People I met here treated me as an equal, a friend, a person in need just as they are."

Loves the people

Lena Bowden, an 81-year-old dynamo who has volunteered at the center before it became The Den, notes she's been a member of the family since 1957.

"It's good for me to get out among people, to work with them all I can. The food is great. The Den is a responsible place for those who are alone. They can get out and mingle."

And, she said, "Like almost everyone else, I love the people who work here. If you want to see real dedication, just spend a week in their shoes."

Sight woes

Gwen Woods, a very young looking 86-year-old, tells you right off, "I have sight problems ... I can't even see what you look like," standing and leaning forward until she says, "Oh, there you are."

A longtime resident of Colorado Springs, she said she was forced to move to Denver when her eyesight began declining.

But, she lives alone and has learned to get around her apartment without problem. The same is true of The Den.

"I learn by feel, by sound, by trial and error and I can get around here. It's one reason I come. My sister (Dodi Smith) brings me here so I can meet new people."

"Before my eyes went bad," she said, I loved to get out and meet new people. Now even though its hard to get around in new places, I've learned to do so here."

A Missouri native, she's lived in Pagosa Springs almost six years.

"The Den has been my connection, my reason to keep going. If I'm not here I might miss something."

Her sister adds, "We came here not knowing anyone, unsure of what we would find. What we have done is make a lot of friends."

"There isn't a lot for people our ages to do in Pagosa Springs," she said, so we look at The Den as our outside interest."

A lifesaver

Ruth Bankhead, a member of The Den since August, said "it's been a lifesaver for me. I knew no one (other than family) locally and came here reluctantly."

"I've met so many wonderful people, and then gotten to know a lot of them as good friends. I've enjoyed the trips, the openness of the people."

She'd been here once seven years ago and loved the locale, the change in climate from the Scottsdale, Ariz. area where she lived.

"But we got here as winter was coming on, and it was hard to get out. If you are interested in making new friends, this is the place to do it," she concluded.

Reason to be

Bill and Glenda Clark, both near 80, are activists who love to get out and see the things around them. They walk at least three miles a day, and try to keep healthy minds.

"We initially came because we wanted to give to those in need," she said. "But we come back because it gives us a reason to get up and to look forward to the day."

"We've lost a couple of regulars from the table where we like to sit, and it is hard to let them go. It's then," she said, "that you realize you need them as much as they need you."

"Camaraderie, I heard many say, Bill chimes in, "it's so important. Many who feel restricted open up when they get here. They interact with others outside their families and thus give new reason to their existence."

Much of our county is populated by the World War II generation, he said, "and it is rapidly dying out. As it does, there is an increase here in those left behind to seek new memories."

"We feel like we're missing something if, for some reason, we're unable to be here, Glenda said.

They noted they had recently stopped while on a journey at a senior center in Albuquerque and found it "totally impersonal, cold and unfriendly. Here you have a family feeling, a place to develop group memories, and we can relate to that."

Service to all

Dorothy O'Harra cites friendship, great meals and great music as reasons for attending Den functions.

She love talks on wildlife and flowers, field trips, movies, picnics in the park, rafting, gym walking, computer classes and legal services offered by staff and consultants.

"Most appreciated," she said, "is transportation to doctors, shopping and social events ... and the new bus."

"We get free blood pressure checks, wonderfully cooked food and managers who understand we may have questions or unusual needs and provide for us."

The lounge, she said, offers a meeting place away from the dining room "and the cost for all this is just a $3 membership."

Positive thoughts

Ron Gustafson echoed all the other adjectives about The Den, but added the fact, "It is great, no matter how you personally feel, to see people enjoying themselves and it would be hard not to here."

He cited, for example the recent "Senior Prom" utilizing the high school commons and decorations from the students' prom.

"What a great idea. What a positive way to enhance the life of a person feeling down, or one wanting a way to reestablish memories.

"The Den provides things for these people that they could not do on their own," he said. "that's the essence of The Den ... giving people what they need without making it seem like a handout or charity. It is an act of love for these people."

Open house

Staff of The Den are planning a community open house June 14; people will be able to see for themselves what goes on there, and why.

You might want to reserve that day for a little outing to see who uses The Den and why. You may get a surprise. You may even choose to join. You will definitely make friends.


Pagosa's Past

The Milk River Indian Battle

By John Motter

PREVIEW Columnist

Buffalo soldiers, Company D of the 9th Cavalry, rode hard across the northern Colorado mountains. Their destination was the rescue of the decimated command of Major T.T. Thornburgh.

Thornburgh, leading three cavalry companies, one infantry company, and 25 wagons, had been on a rescue mission of his own. The major was on his way from Fort Frederick Steele in Wyoming to the Meeker Northern Ute Indian Agency at the request of Agent Nathan Meeker.

Just after crossing the Milk River a few miles north of Meeker, Thornburgh's command had been ambushed by several hundred, well-armed, fast firing Ute warriors. In a desperate attempt to survive, Thornburgh ordered his troops back to the river bank. Some made it back, many didn't, including Thornburgh.

The wagons were circled and most of the horses and mules were dead when Capt. Dodge and Company D arrived. It should be noted that many companies of the frontier Army did not contain 100 men, as they should have. Through much of their history, the black cavalry's real strength was nearer 50 men than it was 100 men.

In any case, the Buffalo Soldiers battled through the encircling Utes, only to find themselves in the same predicament as Thornburgh's troops. They were pinned down by surrounding Utes, well concealed on the bluffs above.

While under heavy attack, Thornburgh's troops managed to unload the wagons and arrange the contents as breastworks from behind which they fought. The battle lasted until nightfall. During the night they dug trenches and a field hospital in the center of their confinement. Nearly all of their horses were killed, the lifeless carcasses serving as additional concealment.

At daybreak, the Utes resumed a deadly fire that made any movement by the troops suicidal. The battle raged through the day and through the next day without letup. The Utes had plenty of ammunition.

Finally, before dawn on Oct. 2 Capt. Dodge, Lt. Hughes, and 35 Buffalo Soldiers, after a galling ride across rugged mountains from North Park, heard the firing. Each trooper was issued three days rations and ample ammunition, the supply train parked, and with one pack mule, Dodge pushed on to the battle site. The rescuers were greeted by cheers at daybreak as they punctured the surrounding ring and joined the embattled command of Thornburgh.

Fighting continued unabated throughout the day. That night, veteran Buffalo Soldier Sergeant Henry Johnson left his rifle pit under heavy fire and made the rounds of the trenches to see that all was well. On the evening of the fifth day of fighting, Johnson climbed out of his pit again, shot his way to the river, and returned with water. He became one more in a growing list of 9th Cavalry troops to earn a Congressional Medal of Honor.

Even though the deadly Ute fire continued, couriers sent out the first night reached Colonel Wesley Merritt at Fort D.A. Russell in Wyoming. With five companies of the 5th Cavalry, Merritt reached the battle site the morning of October 5. As he approached, the Utes slipped away. Fourteen soldiers were dead, 43 wounded, and of all the horses and mules, only a handful remained. In Dodge's company only two animals were left. Ute casualties are unknown, but were probably light because they fought from concealment.

Troopers riding into the Meeker Agency beheld death and devastation everywhere. Meeker and eleven employees were dead, Meeker with a stake through his heart. The women and children, including Mrs. Meeker, had been taken captive. Southern Ute Chief Ouray helped negotiate release for the captives.

Partly as a result of the uprising, the Northern Utes were placed on a reservation in Utah. Because of Ouray's cooperativeness, the Southern Utes were allowed to remain on their homeland in Southwestern Colorado.

Even before the Utes were removed, however, the 9th Cavalry was already marching south.

They did not return to Fort Lewis in Pagosa Springs. Instead, they were to play a significant role in the continuing wars against Victorio and the Warm Springs Apaches in New Mexico and Arizona.



Date High Low Precipitation

Type Depth Moisture












































Breezy, one more freeze in mild week upcoming

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The high waters are not completely gone, but they are receding, their still turbid flow intermingled with the washout of downed trees and fallen branches.

Still, with little chance of precipitation in the next week, according to National Weather Service forecasters, there is every likelihood water levels will soon be back to seasonal norms.

That's not to say there won't be more water coming down the area streams but, after all, it is just 19 days to the beginning of summer when roaring streams become mere images of the more heady days of whitewater rapids.

At the Upper San Juan Snotel site, for example, snow depth was decreasing but as of 8 a.m. Wednesday stood at 47.7 inches with a snowwater equivalent of 27.3 inches.

How fast will it melt?

Depends on the temperatures at high altitude. But don't expect it to be gone in the flash of an eye.

For example, forest officials say the Mosca Road above the Poma Ranch may not be open for a month or more yet, a sure sign high country summer will be late arriving.

As for that temperature level on the divide, the Snotel site had an average temperature the past week of 41.6, a low of 29.9 and a high of 56.5. Weather gurus will tell you the northern slopes at that altitude still have considerably more snow on site than the Snotel location.

River levels have dropped dramatically across the county in the past week after the San Juan peaked at 5,020 cubic feet per second early May 24.

At 4 a.m. Wednesday the San Juan in Pagosa Springs was running at 2,600 cubic feet per second; by 7 a.m. that had dropped to 2,450. The mean flow for the date is 1,519 cfs.

On the Blanco River, flow at 6:45 a.m. Wednesday was 189 cfs on the diversion, 726 cfs below it. Flow has been dropping steadily as searchers maintain an effort to locate a missing teenager.

The Piedra River at 9 a.m. Wednesday was flowing a 1,900 cfs north of Navajo Lake with flow depth averaging 3.84 feet, down more than two feet from peak during the recent flood scare.

The other key tributary in the county, the Navajo River, was running Monday morning at 775 cfs at Banded Peak Ranch, 127 below the Oso diversion, and 557 cfs in the diversion.

Downstream, where all this water collects, Navajo Lake had not reported totals since June 27 when it was at 6,073.52 feet elevation at surface. Full pool for the lake is set at 6,083.02. Intake had fallen from in excess of 11,000 cfs to a Wednesday level of 9,515 and outflow was being maintained at 5,042, the maximum possible with mandatory government controls.

The high temperature in Pagosa Springs during the past week was 75.6 May 27; the lowest 34.7 at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Precipitation in town totaled .58 inches in the week, bringing the monthly toll for May to 1.26 inches. Heaviest rainfall, just short of half an inch, came Saturday.

What does the forecast hold?

A lot of relatively cool, dry and windy days for the next week, at least.

In fact, the key word in the National Weather Service forecast locally is "breezy."

Breezes are expected today, tonight, Friday and Friday night, and are to keep appearing through following days.

Strongest of those breezes, however, should come today through Friday with afternoon gusts up to 40-45 mph.

Forecasters see temperatures here fluctuating 72-75 until surging to a sunny high of 80 Tuesday. Overnight low temperatures are expected to average in the 30s, with at least one more slight freeze with a low of 30 Sunday night; the highest low temperature will be 40 Monday night.

With no precipitation in the forecast, the words "partly cloudy" dot the outlook for the weekend before more heat rolls in midweek.

All in all, it looks like a great week for all forms of outdoor recreation.